Dallas Deportation Orders Down, But Will Obama's Policy Shift Stick?

Categories: Immigration

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In Dallas and across the country, the astronomical number of deportation orders issued by immigration courts is at last beginning to fall. President Obama's new strategy focuses on intelligent enforcement and prosecutorial discretion. Translated: We'll show bad guys the door, but the undocumented student brought here as a child can probably stay.

The June 2011 gear-shift in policy was a big one for an administration that deported folks at double the rate of its predecessor. It renewed hope among undocumented immigrants seeking only to make a living, and it prompted cheers from advocates, who believe it signals a more humane, pragmatic turn by the Obama Administration.

Problem is, it took months to see any sign that it was actually happening.

But according to Syracuse's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, the first quarter of 2012 saw a six-percent drop in the number of removal orders nationwide. Based on those numbers, they're projecting a 21-percent drop in the number of deportation orders originating from Dallas.

"In my practice, I find that it took some months for the Morton memo to really have an impact. I think ICE was reluctant at first," immigration attorney Furqan Sunny Azhar tells Unfair Park. "Eventually enforcement and removal operations, as well as the Office of Chief Counsel, began to take the Morton memo a little more seriously, and they reevaluated most of the cases for prosecutorial discretion."

Azhar's clients are a testament to that. One has lived in this country for years, but was kicked into removal proceedings because his permanent residency application was denied. He qualified for prosecutorial discretion because he has no criminal record and his citizen daughter was nearly 21 -- mere months from being able to petition for an immediate relative visa for her father.

Another was a high school student on the honor roll who was brought to this country when she was 9. Her sister had an outstanding removal order, and when fugitive operations came looking for her, they nabbed the student too. In neither case will Azhar's clients receive permanent residency. They simply won't have the feds on their heels.

Much uncertainty remains in how the new policy is implemented from court to court. Another immigration attorney, Michael Canton, worries that the drop in deportations is nothing but a short-lived blip. "I wouldn't be surprised if the numbers have gone down temporarily as a result of the memo," he says. "To me, if it has gone down, it's only short term because they're not entertaining any more requests for prosecutorial discretion."

Canton says prosecutors were only taking candidates from mid-November to January 13. "They're kind of doing an audit to see the effect that the memo had," Canton says.
"They may implement it again judging on how effective it is. This is just in Dallas."


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Nym8387
Nym8387

This is an assault on the American work force. You do realize that if these people become citizens they won't mow your lawn or walk your dogs anymore they will apply at your place of business and end up doing your job for far less money and eventually this country will end up just like Mexico where you only have the small population of the super rich and a massive population of the super poor

Nym8387
Nym8387

This country is going to crumble ALL because We have to many greedy business owners (mostly white) who love cheap labor and a population of idiots who think illegals are the only problem. Fuck illegal people and fuck greedy business owners. Only thing reasonable here is mass deportation of illegal immigrants and incarceration of all those who provide them with jobs in order to make a huge profit and you greedy fucks are not untouchable.

Albert
Albert

So, Hispanics are going to hold the American people hostage. If they don't get what they want, they're going to vote in democrats to teach us a lesson.

Demasiado
Demasiado

"Astronomical number of deportation orders?" Four hundred thousand annual deportations out of 11 to 20 million illegal immigrants!  You have to be kidding!  I continue to be fascinated by how most of the media is far more sympathetic to those who have entered the United States illegally than it is to struggling American families (including legal latino families) confronted by wave after wave of cheap immigrant labor depressing wages and eliminating benefits for workers in this country.  Meanwhile, those same workers pay the regressive state and local taxes to provide illegal immigrants with education and health care (think Parkland) as well as paying for their incarceration costs, while those who employ the illegal immigrants laugh all the way to the bank and count themselves as ever so lucky for articles such as this one.

RTGolden
RTGolden

C'mon Branley, where's that analytic tenacity you display when you writing about droughts.  It's an election year.  Hispanics are a huge voting bloc and our esteemed political parties are finally starting to figure that out.  With news outlets blurting out significant drops in deportation numbers, President Obama will look pretty good to Hispanic, and other immigrant, voters.  Throw in a couple of tear-jerker interviews with honor-roll students here since 9yrs old, and you've got one hell of a shrewd re-election bid to deliver to a significant voting bloc.After November, if the number tics back up into high numbers of deportations, who cares, President Obama can't get elected for a third term, so let the next guy deal with it.

Brantley Hargrove
Brantley Hargrove

 Well, yes, RT. That would be the cynical way to look at it. Hell, you may be right. The GOP has done a bang-up job of alienating (no pun intended) the most significant, growing block of voters in the country. But it might also signal that Obama is finally getting the behemoth that is DHS to change course because it's simply what works. How much treasure is spent going after, detaining and deporting people who pose no danger to the rest of us?

Can't Wait
Can't Wait

"people who pose no danger to the rest of us?"  Seriously?  Tell my neighbor whose identity was stolen by one of these "harmless" ones.  She has spent months and thousands of dollars getting the nightmare straightened out.  Yeah - they found him and deported his lying, thieving, chaos-creating ass back to Mexico - but that is little comfort to this poor woman who nearly had a heart attack from the stress this "innocent" created in her life.  Also, tell my uncle who was hit by an uninsured illegal from Mexico on Central Expressway last year.  Surprise, the criminal was not even the owner of the car he was speed racing in and had no license or insurance.  My uncle's car was totalled and he spent several days in the hospital.  If DPD had not been close, this creep would have run once the cars stopped spinning.  People who pose no danger to the rest of us?  WOW.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Saying an American political figure will jump on any opportunity to gain a vote is not cynicism, it's reality.  I'm not saying the GOP would do things any different were they the ones occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  As it is, the GOP has to content itself with placating Sheriff Arpaio and the self-proclaimed Border Bouncers.  You're right in one respect; As far as reaching out to Hispanic and other immigrant voters, the GOP is digging themselves a deep white hole.

Frank
Frank

I think it's great that the Republican free trade faction has joined hands with the Democrats to legislate our United States and Mexico of America economic policy, fighting inflation by importing cheaper labor instead of outsourcing, lowering wages for everyone from the bottom up, and so making goods and services that much more affordable and widely available to everyone. And the great thing is, this can go on almost indefinitely. Despite a few second generation professionals here and there and despite the success of Brazil, the cheap South American labor crop and its multiplier potential, including competing internally against its own prior migrations and offspring, has only just begun to be exploited. I think of it as living shale gas that voluntarily walks all the way to your doorstep. Unbeatable.

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

Taxpayers are still paying for Obama's Aunt and Uncle, both ordered by courts to be deported years ago,  to stay in this country. 

MattL1
MattL1

Can't choose your family...

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