ICE's Official Guidelines for Who to Deport Under Confusing Obama 'Amnesty'
La Opinion, L.A.'s Spanish-language paper (whose future is much brighter than the English-language paper, turns out!) ran a heartbreaking piece yesterday on the confusion surrounding what many immigrants are referring to as "Obama's law" or "student aid" or the "new Amnesty."
If there really was amnesty, ICE would be out of a job.
The chaos should come as no surprise. If it wasn't clear before, we're now brutally aware that President Obama's August 18 announcement was nothing more...
... than a flashy opportunity for him to woo the fattening Latino voter base back onto his campaign train, despite an entire first term of harsh, human rights-infringing immigration policy.
It's not that nothing is changing. Surely, of the 300,000 deportations pending in immigration court, many will now be dismissed by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement based on the new priority system announced by Obama -- and news reports indicate that a few already have been.
(ICE's official guidelines, after the jump.)
Bravo, we guess. Thing is -- the discretion on who still deserves deporting is entirely up to the blame-shifting ICE hierarchy. There are no guarantees that ICE officials will find you to be low-priority. And even if your removal order is dismissed, there is still no system in place for you to work legally, or otherwise avoid breaking the law.
ICE Director John T. Morton
Because just by being here, no matter how long you've lived in the U.S. or your reasons for coming, you are breaking the law, every second of every day. That's the irony, and redundancy, in the government saying it will only deport criminal illegals. They're criminal by default.
Robert Perkins, an immigration lawyer based in Culver City, says he has a client who was recently dumped in the middle of the desert, with no clothes or money, 30 hours from his home in Mexico. The "crime" that led to his deportation? Using a green card, with his name on it, to work. (A false one, of course. Because, contrary to popular Fox News-inspired belief, green cards aren't so easy to come by these days.)
Another L.A. immigration attorney, David Gardner, says the problem isn't Obama's (proclaimed) good intent. Instead, it's that nobody at ground level wants "to take the responsibility for a common-sense thing" like sorting the low-risk illegals from the high-risk ones.
Some more hilarious context to Obama's big speech: ICE Director John T. Morton had already implemented the "priority" policy in its final form one month earlier, on June 17. (And it had been in the works since September 2010.) Nothing changed then -- so why did the president, and the media, expect something different after he stepped to the podium in August?
Bigger question for the nation's hundreds of thousands of illegals: Who gets to stay? Here are the factors that Morton asked all his "Field Office Directors," "Special Agents in Charge" and "Chief Counsel" to consider, when deciding whether to dismiss a deportation case: