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If followed, current policy would stop many deportations

While it isn't likely that unfair deportation proceedings will stop any time soon, President Obama's administration recently announced that it would review current deportation practices. Obviously, one major problem is that immigrants who have lived in the U.S. a long time and who have not committed a crime are being deported, even though the proposed immigration reform would make those same immigrants eligible for legal status.

With that in mind, let's consider some other possible changes that would make deportation practices and removal hearings more humane.

There are already deportation policies that, if followed, would slow down and even stop the process of deporting non-criminals. For example, in 2011, John Morton, the former director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, sent out a memo instructing ICE agents on what factors to consider before deporting someone. Here's a list of some of the people Morton told agents to give special consideration:

  • pregnant women
  • people with disabilities
  • veterans
  • domestic violence victims
  • minors
  • elderly people
  • people who have lived in the country since childhood

If agents would use what is known as prosecutorial discretion in these cases, then the number of inhumane deportations would decrease.

Another positive step would be for ICE to stop focusing so much on immigrants who haven't committed a crime, even if they have numerous immigration offenses. After all, many immigrants without legal status reenter the U.S. solely because their husbands, wives and children are here. Those families shouldn't be broken up because of inhumane deportation practices.

In fact, aside from implementing positive immigration reform, there is much that can be done to relieve the fearful pressure placed on immigrants who don't yet have legal status. You can learn more about these matters on our immigration law website.

Source: Huffington Post, "Here's What Obama Can Actually Do To Slow Deportations," Elise Foley, March 20, 2014

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