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La Opinion Editorial Highlights Disillusionment With the Administration on Immigration

by Mahwish Khan on 03/19/2012 at 3:07pm

stop the deportationsIt’s not often that you get to hear in English what Spanish language journalists are writing about, but since immigration is a core issue for many Latino voters, you might have guessed – correctly – that it’s also an issue highlighted every day in Spanish language media.

Last year, immigrant rights activists called the administration’s prosecutorial discretionary memo “a step in the right direction,” with many of us letting the Obama Administration know that we were carefully watching to ensure that it followed through.

Today, an editorial in La Opinion highlights the fact that implementation of the new deportation guidelines has been far narrower than many hoped:

ICE said last August that it would review 300,000 pending cases under new light giving a great degree of prosecutorial discretion. The idea was to focus on taking action on the priority cases, those that involved dangerous criminals, and close the cases that involved undocumented individuals who had ties to the community as well as other criteria.

Last week, ICE’s director John Morton said at a congressional hearing that 150,000 cases have been reviewed to date and that 1,500 had been closed. In other words, only 1% met the new criteria or 99% of the cases involve dangerous individuals who are threaten our society.

That’s absurd! It is laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

National figures show that deportations have decreased but despite the criteria of “discretion,” even mothers of families continue to be deported.

This is the case of Blanca Cardenas of Los Angeles who, after being arrested for protesting the foreclosure of her home, was deported in one week, leaving her husband and children on the other side of the border.

It is normal that the hopes of an immigrant community would rise when the federal government says it is going to use a more sensible and humane policy to review deportation cases. And, it is inevitable to feel deceived when once against the words ring false.

Many feel deceived by the changes that had been announced

That’s the brunt of it. It’s an insightful commentary on the Administration’s immigration practices, and worth the full read.  

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