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May 17, 2012

Obama’s broken immigration promise
By Jefferson Morley

Under a policy of “prosecutorial discretion” announced by ICE director John Morton last June. The goal of the policy, announced with much fanfare in the Spanish language media, was to spare “longtime lawful residents” from deportation and to focus on criminals. Since then, the adminstration has deported many fewer non-criminal aliens. But non-criminals remain the vast majority of those deported. And those with no criminal record now actually comprise a slightly larger percentage of those forced to leave the country than they did before Morton’s announcement. In the three months before the policy was announced last summer ICE filed for deportation proceedings against 61,192 people of whom 15 percent had criminal records. In the first three months of 2012, ICE sought 37,659 deportations orders, 14 percent of which involved people with criminal records. “The agency continues to be headed in the opposite direction of its stated goals,” said Susan Long, co-director of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which collected the data from ICE via a Freedom of Information Act request. The goal of prosecutorial discretion, Long said in a conference call with reporters, “was to target and bring before the court those with more serious criminal history. As yet we’re not seeing any change. They have not turned the ship around.”

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2012
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