U.S. Offers to Shelve Deportations

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

Immigration chiefs have offered to shelve 7.5% of cases under a massive review of the backlogged US system which is aiming to deport more criminals.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has offered to temporarily suspend the deportation cases of around 16,500 people after reviewing more than 70% of the pending immigration cases as of mid-April, according to statistics released by the agency.

ICE officials said 2,700 cases had been shelved. The rest still require paperwork and background checks. It was not immediately clear how many immigrants had been told of the offer or how many had accepted it.

The Obama administration announced in August that about 300,000 deportation cases would be reviewed and non-criminals and those illegal immigrants who posed no public safety or national security threat would probably have their cases put on hold indefinitely.

The move was welcomed by immigrant advocates but condemned by critics who called the programme an attempt by the administration to work around Congress. Since then, however, immigrant advocates have complained that the government is offering to apply so-called prosecutorial discretion in too few instances, and that those whose deportation cases are put on the back burner still do not get a work permit.

So far, the approval rate "is a very low number", said Gregory Chen, director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. "You can't expect people to not be able to feed their families and have some source of income and still survive," he added.

Some say immigrants might do better by trying their luck in immigration court, where, for example, they could seek asylum.

More than half of immigrants whose asylum cases were decided by an immigration judge in the 2011 fiscal year actually won their cases, according to statistics from the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which runs the country's immigration court system.

ICE deputy press secretary Gillian Christensen said the review was ongoing. The main focus is to enable authorities to focus on deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records or those who previously ignored court orders to leave the country. "This review is designed to allow the agency to make the best use of its limited resources," she said.

Of the cases put on hold to date, the vast majority - more than 2,000 - involve immigrants who have lived in the US for a long time and have an immediate relative who is an American citizen. About 175 are children and 180 are college students or graduates who came to the US when they were under 16 and have lived in the country for more than five years, the agency said.

Source: Express.co.uk

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions to Mwakilishi.com.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Facebook Comments Box

Follow us on Twitter @mwakilishi.

Featured Article

Kora Hardy, the reigning Miss Kenya USA, is the Kenyan delegate in this year’s Miss Africa USA pageant, which takes place August 9, 2014 in Rockville, Maryland.

Born in Kenya and raised in Maryland, Kora Hardy is running on the platform of...

2840 reads

Featured Article

H.E. Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, C.G.H. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya will be in Washington, DC to attend the US-Africa Leaders Summit which is scheduled to take place in August, 2014.

During this...

2921 reads

Featured Article

Dr George Njoroge, a world renowned scientist originally from Kenya and based in the US, was recently feted by Mount Kenya University (MKU).

Dr Njoroge was last week awarded an honorary Doctor of Pharmacy degree by the University for his ex...

252 reads

Featured Article

Prof Ngugi wa Thiong’o has congratulated and praised a Kenyan student studying in the UK for achieving an outstanding First Class honours degree in Aerospace engineering. The world-renowned writer said: “I would like to congratulate Jepleting fo...

13862 reads

SYNDICATED NEWS FEEDS

Aggregated Feeds