U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been conducting an administrative amnesty for illegal aliens. Beneficiaries include illegal aliens who have had their deportation cases dismissed by ICE attorneys, illegal aliens released from custody to never appear, certian classes of illegal aliens who ICE just does not arrest, such as Nicky Diaz and Maria Gianni, as well as illegal aliens who have their favorable hearing decisions remain unappealed, such as Obama Auntie Zeituni Onyango and Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Sandoval.
ICE has issued a press release contesting the administrative amnesty and claiming that the dismissal of deportation cases is limited and specific to aliens in proceedings who will receive relief in any event.
FACT: Media have suggested that ICE is aggressively dismissing cases based on a directive from Director Morton. This just isn’t true. ICE enforcement is alive and well. For two years in a row, ICE has removed a record number of illegal aliens from communities across the United States. The agency focuses limited resources on three high priority areas—the identification and removal of criminals and national security threats, fugitives, and recent border entrants and others who game the system. Last year, ICE removed substantially more criminal aliens than ever before.
On Aug. 20, 2010, Director Morton issued a memorandum that allows for the dismissal of a very narrow category of cases. The memorandum applies only to individuals who are about to receive an immigration benefit—namely lawful permanent residence—from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This is not backdoor amnesty. By dismissing these cases, ICE attorneys can use limited time before immigration judges to seek removal orders against aliens who are not about to receive a green card and can be removed from the country. Pursuing removal orders for aliens who are about to become lawful permanent residents doesn’t make sense in terms of time or resources.
That, of course, is a demonstrable lie, as the real policy was exposed by the Houston Chronicle where the policy is that any illegal alien without a previous felony conviction will have their deportation case dismissed:
Gonzalez said DHS attorneys are conducting the reviews on a case-by-case basis. However, he said they are following general guidelines that allow for the dismissal of cases for defendants who have been in the country for two or more years and have no felony convictions. In some instances, defendants can have one misdemeanor conviction, but it cannot involve a DWI, family violence or sexual crime, Gonzalez said...Immigrants who have had their cases terminated are frequently left in limbo, immigration attorneys said, and are not granted any form of legal status.
"It's very, very key to understand that these aliens are not being granted anything in court. They are still here illegally. They don't have work permits. They don't have Social Security numbers," Mendoza said. "ICE is just saying, 'At this particular moment, we are not going to proceed with trying to remove you from the United States.' "
Clearly many benefiting have no pending immigration benefit. Additionally and unfortunately for the PR hacks at ICE, Undersecretary John Morton, head of ICE, has also let the cat out of the bag, again:
"When you start removing people who have been here for 25 years," he said, "it isn't so simple. There is a whole life wrapped up in this person, much of it lawful and positive like the fact that they raised kids here. This is some one's parent, grandparent. We have to ask, 'Is removal the only remedy?'
Much of it lawful and positive? Like what? Employment? No, that is illegal. Having family here? No, most of their relatives are here illegally as well. Clearly Morton and ICE are on the amnesty bandwagon and non-enforcement is part of that program. The intent is not just saving money by not placing aliens who have relief available to them in deportation proceedings, but giving benefits to all illegal aliens, including those without available relief, other than the planned amnesty that the recent elections just ended any chance of. And one must point out that removal is the remedy that ICE has a charter to implement. It has no legal authority to ignore the laws against illegal immigration. Congress has rejected any amnesty both under Obama and Bush, so why is Morton administering an amesty in violation of the law and his oath of office? The answer to his question is yes, removal is the only remedy available to ICE. They have no authority to do anything else.