Last Friday, President Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security will now review deportations on a case-by-case basis. This will offer reprieve to over 300,000 illegal immigrants in the country.
These cases will be closed and deportation proceedings will halt. The people who once faced deportation will be allowed to apply for work permits. Obtaining visas is a long and difficult process even with the help of an immigration attorney; so many people choose to enter the US illegally. Until the policy change, non-criminal immigrants faced the possibility or being sent back to their native countries.
One of the first people to benefit from this new policy was Alex Benshomal, a gay man married to an American citizen, David Gentry. The couple married in Connecticut, where same-sex marriage is legal. They have been tied up in a San Francisco immigration court fighting Benshomal’s deportation with the help of a highly-skilled immigration lawyer. A judge postponed his deportation hearing until 2013, but the shift in policy will see that his case is closed.
Gay couples and other non-violent immigrants will now be able to stay in the country, but detractors say this policy change awards people guilty of breaking the law.
Deportation tide changing for gay couples
On June 29, a federal immigration judge in New Jersey was the first to halt the deportation of a gay spouse, a Venezuelan man who had married a U.S. citizen in Connecticut.
On July 13, San Francisco-based immigration Judge Marilyn Teeter halted the deportation of another Venezuelan man, Alex Benshimol, who had married his Southern California partner in Connecticut. Teeter gave immigration officials two months to contest her decision.
The answer came Aug. 11, when Aaron Keesler, a lawyer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, wrote back that the agency was dropping its case against Benshimol.
On the same day, Keesler said the deportation case against Sinense was being dropped, and a judge formally closed that case Aug. 16.
That made Sinense, 46, and Gee, 49, one of the first three binational gay couples to be spared from separation as a result of the new policy.
Read the rest at Deportation tide changing for gay couples – San Jose Mercury News.
Deport the Criminals First (and Only?)
Patterico has long championed the idea of “Deport the Criminals First.” However, a review of the June ICE memo (.pdf) detaling the new policy makes clear that the prosecutorial discretion involved is not limited to prioritizing deportations, but decisions to arrest, settle or dismiss proceedings, defer action, grant parole, etc. Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times describes the new policy as “virtually stopping deporting students who are in the U.S. illegally, taking steps even as Congress has resisted passing the DREAM Act.” Sen. Durbin issued a statement adding that when reviews of individual cases result in cases being closed, those individuals “will be able to apply for certain immigration benefits, including work authorization.”
So… if not backdoor amnesty, a big step in that direction. Sweet, to her credit, duly notes that the move came as Hispanic groups have been stepping up complaints about Obama’s illegal immigration policy
Read the Rest at Patterico’s Pontifications » Deport the Criminals First (and Only?).
DHS to halt deportation proceedings on case-by-case basis
Deportation is messy and ugly — who, for example, wants to advocate to separate illegal immigrant students, many of whom didn’t enter the country illegally of their own volition, from their families? But these new rules are entirely inappropriate, as they usurp Congress’ legislative authority. Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform and quoted in the WT article, said it best: “Supporters of comprehensive and targeted amnesties for illegal aliens have consistently failed to win approval by Congress or gain support from the American public. Having failed in the legislative process, the Obama administration has simply decided to usurp Congress’ constitutional authority and implement an amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens.” This isn’t a new trend for the Obama administration, of course (DISCLOSE and DREAM, anyone?), but that only makes it that much more troubling.
Furthermore, as so often happens whenever the federal government attempts to address illegal immigration, the rules ignore the fundamental importance of the rule of law to a democratic republic like the United States. The deportation of every illegal immigrant in the nation at this moment might not be a realistic or even advisable solution to the problem of illegal immigration, but to halt deportation proceedings even on a case-by-case basis sends a message that is disquietingly similar to the message amnesty sends — that the executive branch doesn’t take seriously its responsibility to uphold the law as it is.
Read the full story at DHS to halt deportation proceedings on case-by-case basis « Hot Air.
- Detroit Free Press: It’s about time Obama granted illegas amnesty via executive fiat! (rightwingnews.com)
- Meet the first White House deportation waiver winners (michellemalkin.com)
- Lawless Obama Administration Halts Deportation of Illegal Aliens (thegatewaypundit.com)