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New administration guidelines help New York detainees

A 47-year-old female detained and scheduled for deportation is now allowed to stay in the U.S. under new Obama administration immigration policies. The domestic worker from Brooklyn was granted a reprieve after receiving assistance from New York Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and the New York Immigration Coalition.

Originally allowed in to the country legally with a six-month visa in 2005, the woman extended her stay because her daughter was born in the U.S. She stayed to be with her daughter's father. She was arrested last year and scheduled for deportation. Her mother died in Ecuador just a few months ago, but she didn't dare leave the country to go to the funeral because she was afraid she wouldn't be let back in.

After three requests and appeals to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, she will now be allowed to stay as part of a nationwide effort to clear deportation lists of aliens who do not pose a threat to public safety.

There are approximately 300,000 ICE deportation cases that the Obama administration promised to review. The backlogged system will start to refocus on deportations of criminals, not otherwise law-abiding people. Immigration courts across the country are suspending cases of immigrants who are not in detention. Immigration offices are temporarily shutting down until they process the backlog or hundreds of thousands of deportation cases at the request of the President.

ICE hopes to close cases using what they call prosecutorial discretion whereby they offer leniency to undocumented immigrants who have served in the military, arrived in the country as children, are college students or have relatives who are citizens.

Source:, "New York Deportation Case Shifts Focus to Obama's New Policy," May 7, 2012

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