Journalism in the Public Interest

Obama’s Last Move on Illegal Immigrants Resulted in Little Change

Last year, the Obama administration tried to make it easier for some illegal immigrants to stay in the country. Few were helped. Will it be any different this time? 


Last week, the White House announced what could be a big shift in immigration policy, exempting many young illegal immigrants from deportation in the short run.

But this wasn’t Obama’s first directive to extend protection to this group. A year ago, the administration ordered broader discretion in the prosecution of illegal immigrants. Among the factors to consider were age and manner of entry into the country, education status, military service, criminal history and family circumstances.

So how many immigrants have benefited from the now 12-month-old broader discretion?

Very few.

Under the June 2011 guidelines, U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement personnel were directed to exercise discretion about deportations and to treat minors, the elderly, and some others with “particular care.” The Department of Homeland Security ordered a review of 300,000 pending deportation cases.

One year later, only 4,300 cases have been settled through prosecutorial discretion, according to the latest DHS statistics. That’s only 2 percent of all cases flagged for eligibility. Only 600 youth were granted a reprieve from deportation in the past year. Immigration lawyers have also reported inconsistent results under the broad guidelines.

In contrast, the Obama administration deported approximately 400,000 people between October 2010 and September 2011, a record number for the third straight year. (The DHS did not respond to requests for comment.)

Experts say last year’s policy has resulted in little change precisely because authorities were given so much discretion.

The “memo was very broad,” said Laura Lichter, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “There were no hard and fast rules and there really can’t be, because this isn’t legislation, this is guidance to an agency on how to carry out its duties.”

Obama’s latest policy initiative lays out more specific criteria, but still gives authorities plenty of discretion.

Unlike the previous guidelines, youth who are eligible can come out into the open and request a reprieve from deportation for up to two years. The directive, which was unveiled by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, also requires the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to create a process in the next 60 days to process the applications.

“They tried to cut out some of the guesswork by inviting applications from people and putting down definitive markers,” said Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, a non-partisan research organization.

But immigration enforcement agents will keep the sole power to decide which immigrants are eligible to stay. They will also have the power to decide whether immigrants who’ve been allowed to stay for two years can get an extension. There is no appeal process, according to a list of frequently asked questions posted on the DHS website. In other words, despite the roiling debate about the policy announcement, it’s not at all clear large numbers of young illegal immigrants may get to stay.

“I think there’s a real danger that the current initiative could suffer some of the same problems” as the previous one, said Peter L. Markowitz, director of the Immigration Justice Clinic at Cardozo School of Law.

“Unfortunately, the history of prosecutorial discretion initiatives, both in this administration and prior ones, has been that they come in like a lion and go out like a lamb,” said Markowitz. “When we get down to the implementation, they fall flat.”

Obama never ceases to amaze me with his dictatorial like behavior.  Does he think he’s the KING or something?!?  Where the h*ll is Congress, all these years he’s been acting like a dictator?!?  IMPEACH THIS FRAUD!

Obama was supposed to protect and help AMERICANS and legal immigrants, not ILLEGAL immigrants.  This is all purely for votes or he’d have done this the first two years he and the Dem’s had complete control of all three branches of the gov’t, not that that really matters to this socialist terd.

If they are here illegally, ship them out.

In this nxt election vote AGAINST all politicians that support ILLEGAL migrants. over LEGAL residents.

What a pair of nice, thought out, intelligent, responses.  Anyway, I genuinely believe the Obama administration simply does not care to get its country club hands dirty with this issue. It does not care for the families that have been heartlessly torn apart due to these vague procedures. It’s lack of attention to the immigration issue has forced knee jerk solutions like the proto fascist, racist laws in some states like Arizona. That it’s even paying attention this year is cynical election year hypocrisy. It’s too bad there are no alternative progressive candidates to vote for.

Steven Janiszewski

June 26, 2012, 10:34 p.m.

States’ Rights.  Mitt Romney is a puppet of the Mormon Church, which idolizes states’ rightsTo get a better understanding of the cult that produced Mitt Romney and to get your socks scared off read The Assassination of Spiro Agnew, available at

It dramatizes the Mormon superiority complex manifesting as racism, sexism, jingoism, and an anti-federal government temperament.
It shows the similarities between Islam and Mormonism and reveals the secrets of Mormon mind control.

Consider this review:

“With a clarity of language and vision unsurpassed in contemporary American prose, Steven Janiszewski’s Assassination of Spiro Agnew takes us into a U.S. mazed with madness and Mormonism and all things Utah, a U.S. that was then and still is.  Do we need a novel, even as brilliant as this one, about a young man on a divine mission to assassinate the Vice President because he is too liberal?  Yes, now more than ever.  Readers, welcome to a masterpiece.”

Tom Whalen

Everyone should read The Assassination of Spiro Agnew.

Seriously Tom?  Bartender pass the nuts.

Honestly, there’s an easy way to solve the problems with illegal immigration, and the fact that nobody in government proposes it shows that they have no interest in solving anything.

Enforce minimum wage for them.

Work from a human rights angle, and the problem will quickly resolve itself in a way that makes everybody happy except maybe the absolute xenophobes.  Walk through the implications, and you’ll see why, no matter what side of the argument you’re on.  People who are here to make a better life for themselves and are otherwise good citizens will stay, the rest will leave (as unemployable) and take their overcrowded housing with them.

That nobody takes this approach shows that the problem is perpetuated by politicians to keep us divided (you’re destroying the country over there, you’re a racist over that way) while they benefit from not just the unrest, but the (largely poor, Hispanic) sympathetic vote one one side and cheap, unregulated labor on the other.

That’s why Obama is happy to loudly implement an imaginary program that won’t help anybody.  His job is only to perpetuate the immigration argument.

This is a scam.  It only allows for a 2-year work permit.  What next?  This is not a solution to the problem.  The children that were brought to this country against their will are not at fault.  They should be allowed to stay.  Why would Obama make it so difficult?  Why do you suppose he wants them to be under 30 years of age?  This is all highly suspicious to me.  We need to close our borders once and for all.  Allow for all the illegals here to remain here.  Document them and make them accountable so they can no longer rape our welfare and health care system.  Maybe if they actually had to pay for their hospital bills and buy insurance for all the children they were having, they wouldn’t have so many. 

This program is a scam and solves nothing.

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