Obama Amnesty Policy Fails to Cut Deportation Backlog

Tuesday, 12 Jun 2012 11:06 AM

By Robert Engler

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A year-old policy aimed at clearing a backlog of deportation cases by offering amnesty to immigrants who meet certain criteria has produced virtually no results, the San Antonio Express News reported Monday.
 
The policy, outlined in a June 2011 memo from Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton, gave prosecutors discretion to drop deportation cases against illegal immigrants with no serious criminal history, who have served in the military, or who have families living in the United States as citizens.

But an analysis of deportation cases by the Syracuse University Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, found that fewer than 1 percent of the country’s backlog of 300,000 immigration cases had been close by the end of March, the Express News reported.

The newspaper’s own analysis of the university review also found that less than one-quarter of 1 percent of the 8,004 deportation cases on the docket in San Antonio last year had been dropped under the new policy.

“It’s just outrageous that an administration says, ‘We’re going after the worst of the worst’ . . . and then concocted definitions that say 90 percent of the people who are here illegally are fit for deportation,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice Education Fund, which advocates comprehensive immigration reform.

Immigration activists have been putting pressure on the Obama administration to expand the definition of illegal immigrants eligible for amnesty under the policy’s prosecutorial discretion to include anyone who would be eligible under the proposed DREAM Act, which would give legal status to some students and graduates.

But some critics of the policy remain steadfast in their opposition to it.

“President Obama’s backdoor amnesty only benefits illegal immigrants, not Americans,” Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, a San Antonio Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told the Express News.

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