President Obama recently asked Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Secretary, Jeh Johnson to hold off on producing his DHS report on deportation and policy options. This March, President Obama, under pressure to take executive action to ease deportations, ordered a formal review of how we deport immigrants. DHS was scheduled to report to the president by early June. Meanwhile, in Washington, there is a window of opportunity to pass an immigration reform bill during the summer months and before the general elections coming up this fall. It is suggested that if President Obama took executive action on the report from DHS and eased up on deportations then House Republicans may take a critical position and not vote for reform. Right now, many say there is bipartisan support and we are in a window of time for action if House Republican leaders can get collect enough votes to pass a bill.
The Secure Communities policy is on the list for review.
The formal review by Secretary Johnson would include recommendations on how DHS could, as a matter of policy, limit deportations to violent criminals and give relief to non-offending immigrants. One of the current policies to be reviewed is the controversial “Secure Communities” concept that positions repeat immigration law offenders alongside violent criminals for purposes of deportation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) works directly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and the Secure Communities policy provides DHS fingerprints automatically sent from the FBI to check for criminal records in immigration databases. If an individual is arrested for a criminal violation, a DHS officer may get involved to make an immigration enforcement decision. Secretary Johnson told lawmakers this week that Secured Communities should stay but should be revamped with a fresh look[i].
If President Obama does not want House Republicans paying attention to his review of how we deport people, then why does it make sense for Secretary Johnson to promote his ideas for improving the Secure Communities policy? Some critics think the president is acting in response to pressure from labor unions and conservatives who want him to wait.
Immigration advocates are upset by President Obama’s suspension of the formal review.
Dream Action Coalition advocates, critical of President Obama’s direction to hold off on the report said, “We are appalled that after so much sacrifice and hard work from the undocumented community to pressure the President to use his power to stop deportations, some organizations… [would] rather protect the administration instead of millions of families separated by deportations.[ii]”
When President Obama ordered the review of our deportation systems this spring, the goal was to find a way to use the most humane methods to enforce immigration laws and policies without breaking up families unnecessarily. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley represents immigration clients who desperately want comprehensive immigration reform and no longer want to fear law enforcement as they do in the current climate of Secure Communities.
Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including hearings before immigration courts and applications and procedures to correct clients’ records when things do not go as planned. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.
[ii] La Times: Obama delays deportation review to give immigration bill a chance. By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey. May 28, 2014.