Now, all undocumented immigrants are considered a priority if they have been convicted of any crime; have been charged with a crime, even if it has not been resolved; have committed acts that constitute a chargeable offense; have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation before a government agency; have abused public benefits; have received a final order to leave the country but haven’t done so; or are judged by an immigration officer to pose a risk to public safety and national security.
The new priorities are so broad, that I fear they will make our local communities and our country less safe. The former priorities were a vital, critical & effective tool and it had layers of review to safeguard against abuse of discretion and non compliance. But the new executive actions, will once again overburden our already overburdened immigration courts and divert enforcement efforts away from the truly dangerous.
The executive order purports to empower local and state law enforcement agencies to perform the functions of an immigration officer. It brings back the flawed, failed and abusive secure communities program.
Although there are reports of leaked executive actions related to DACA that are supposedly being considered as of this moment, right now nothing has officially changed with DACA. Though, the President stated in a news interview that DACA grantees shouldn't be very worried, he offered no details, except that more information would be forthcoming in the next 4 weeks. We also know we can expect more immigration related executive actions as early as today.
There is no doubt that the already announced executive actions will affect a lot of undocumented and mixed status families. We cannot let unfettered discretion and broad enforcement priorities take us back to the abuse of power we have seen in the past. Now more than ever we must keep up the fight so that law abiding, hard working people are not casualties of a draconian enforcement only immigration policy.
There are still a lot of unknowns. As more is known I will keep you posted. For now, stay involved, become involved if not already, and stay informed.