U.S. weighs curbing deportations

Policy change could limit removals of people who have little or no criminal record but have committed repeat immigration violations
Associated Press
Apr 22, 2014


Tens of thousands of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally but don't have serious criminal records could be shielded from deportation under a policy change being weighed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The change, if adopted following a review ordered by President Barack Obama, could limit removals of people who have little or no criminal record but have committed repeat immigration violations such as re-entering the country illegally after having been deported, or failing to comply with a deportation order.

The possible move, confirmed by two people with knowledge of the review, would fall short of the sweeping changes sought by activists. They want Obama to expand a two-year-old program that grants work permits to certain immigrants brought here illegally as children to include other groups, such as the parents of any children born in the U.S.

John Sandweg, who until February served as acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said he had promoted the policy change for immigrants without serious criminal records before his departure and said it was being weighed by Johnson. An immigration advocate who has discussed the review with the administration also confirmed the change was under consideration. The advocate spoke on condition of anonymity because the proceedings are confidential.

"Any report of specific considerations at this time would be premature," Clark Stevens, a spokesman for the Homeland Security Department, said Monday. Stevens said Johnson "has undergone a very rigorous and inclusive process to best inform the review," including seeking input from people within DHS as well as lawmakers of both parties and other stakeholders.

The approach outlined by Sandweg and the immigration advocate would change the existing priority categories that now include immigrants who have re-entered the country after having been deported previously, and those who are fugitives from immigration proceedings. Such people would be taken off the priority list.

The remaining priority categories focus on recent border-crossers and immigrants who pose a danger to national security or public safety or who have been convicted of crimes. Some of those categories might also be refined or changed, and others could be added.

"The time had come to focus ICE's efforts exclusively on public safety and national security," Sandweg said in explaining why he pushed for the change. He estimated that some 20,000 deported immigrants fell into the categories in question last year.

The potential changes come as Johnson proceeds with a review ordered by Obama on how to make deportation policy more humane. With comprehensive immigration legislation stalled in the Republican-led House after passing the Senate last year, Obama has come under intense election-year pressure to stem deportations, which have neared 2 million on his watch, and allow more of the 11.5 million immigrants living here illegally to stay.

Many activists want sweeping action by Obama to give legal certainty and work permits to millions more immigrants, like he did for those who arrived illegally as children and attended school or served in the military.

It's not clear whether the administration ultimately will take such steps. Obama has said repeatedly his options are limited without action by Congress.

"The only way to truly fix it is through congressional action. We have already tried to take as many administrative steps as we could," Obama said last week at a news conference. "We're going to review it one more time to see if there's more that we can do."

For now, administration officials appear focused on more limited, near-term steps that could still make a difference for the immigrant population, according to lawmakers and activists who've met with administration officials.

Adjusting the department's priorities for deportation is one such approach. Depending on how it's done, it could have a significant impact by providing new guidance to ICE agents on the front lines. Activists want more wholesale changes; some say ICE agents don't always follow the priorities set by the administration.

At the same time, Obama would likely face GOP wrath for taking even the smallest steps toward providing relief to people in this country illegally. Republicans already accuse Obama's administration of subverting the law through previous moves to give "prosecutorial discretion" to immigration agents.


Stop It





This is going to be one empty country when they deport every illegal immigrant and give back the Native Americans what is rightfully theirs . Hey , illegal is illegal , right ?

Bottom Line

Clearly you don't grasp the ridiculously easy difference between legal immigrant and illegal alien you horses @$$.


If you are referring to those who flooded this country . stole Native American's lands and nearly wiped them out of existence as LEGAL immigrants , then you're right , I don't grasp your BS .

thinkagain's picture

That’s OK, we can’t all be geniuses.


You do know that the sin of Pride is what got ole Lucifer booted out of Heaven , don't you Think ? You better watch out 'Old Scratch' maybe knocking at your door with that kind of sin you been showing . ; )))


valuable lesson; dont trade your land for whiskey.


Whiskey ? I think it had more to do with disease , fire power and arrogance .


Bluto has a rather good point. Unless you are of Native American ancestry, no one who wants to deny amnesty to illegal immigrants can claim any moral high ground. Those who do so are clearly saying "do as I say, not as I do".

Darwin's choice

Yep! And since there were no "laws" back then, that is an idiotic comment!

However, if you'd like to start "selective enforcement", I'm quite sure something could be found to send you back to Haiti....


Wrong Darwin , because early American Indian tribes did have their own laws and still do today . When European settlers came here they didn't bother to even try to understand them and obviously many still don't . Funny how easily it was forgotten that America was NOT uninhabited before the White man showed up.

Don S

If this was another country and an American over stayed their visa or re-entered the country after deportation, they would be in prison. Now, why is it imperative that these criminals get a free pass here ? These criminals take our jobs or are supported by our welfare system.


So , you want the U.S. to be more like China , or Iran ? Don't you love America Don , or just want the name with no real substance to it's way of life ?


If you are an illegal, you have no rights!


Sorry , sorry , but you are incorrect . Even illegals have rights in the U.S. . It has been proven in court .


Today's Republicans would have closed Ellis Island - as soon as all THEIR own relatives made it to America, of course.

They would next take Emma Lazarus' famous quote "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses" and rewrite it as follows: "Unless you are white and employed, and promise to vote Republican, we don't want you".

Is anyone surprised that they are a shrinking demographic that has to resort to gerrymandering and suppressing the vote in order to win elections? When your Welcome Mat says "go away", that doesn't attract new people to your cause, does it?

Darwin's choice

And democrats have to resort to trolls propping up the failure in charge in small town newspapers!


Darwin's choice

Try this Bluto....I posted this several days ago....seems to fit here...

"Dear Mr. Obama, Senate and Congress:

I'm planning to move my family and extended family into Mexico for my health, and I would like to ask you to assist me.

We're planning to simply walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico , and we'll need your help to make a few arrangements.

We plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws.

I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here. So, would you mind telling your buddy, the President of Mexico , that I'm on my way over?

Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:

1. Free medical care for my entire family.

2. English-speaking Government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not.

3. Please print all Mexican Government forms in English.

4. I want my grandkids to be taught Spanish by English-speaking (bi-lingual) teachers.

5. Tell their schools they need to include classes on American culture and history.

6. I want my grandkids to see the American flag on one of the flag poles at their school.

7. Please plan to feed my grandkids at school for both breakfast and lunch.

8. I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I can get easy access to government services.

9. I do plan to get a car and drive in Mexico, but I don't plan to purchase car insurance, and I probably won't make any special effort to learn local traffic laws.

10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo from their president to leave me alone, please be sure that every patrol car has at least one English-speaking officer.

11. I plan to fly the U.S. flag from my housetop, put U.S. flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. �I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals.

12. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, or have any labor or tax laws enforced on any business I may start.

13. Please have the president tell all the Mexican people to be extremely nice and never say critical things about me or my family, or about the strain we might place on their economy.

14. I want to receive free food stamps.

15. Naturally, I'll expect free rent subsidies.

16. I'll need income tax credits so that although I don't pay Mexican taxes, I'll receive money from the government.

17. Please arrange it so that the Mexican Government pays $4,500.00 to help me buy a new car.

18. Oh yes, I almost forgot, please enroll me free into the Mexican Social Security program so that I'll get a monthly income in retirement.

I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things for all of his people who walk over to the U.S. from Mexico . I am sure that the President of Mexico won't mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely.

Do you see how stupid this looks when you put it in writing????"

The Big Dog's back

Are you still here durwood? I thought you left already.


Here's a good one I've read , " Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame ,With conquering limbs astride from land to land ; Here at our sea-washed , sunset gates shall stand , A mighty woman with a torch , whose flame is the imprisoned lighting , and her name Mother of Exiles . From her beacon-hand glows world wide welcome ; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame . "Keep ancient lands your storied pomp !" cries she with silent lips . " Give me your tired , your poor , your huddled masses yearning to breathe free , the wretched refuse of your teeming shore . Send these , the homeless , the tempest-tost to me , I lift my lamp beside the golden door !" Pretty words engraved at the Statue of Liberty , that actually make people believe they will be welcomed here . Even in the face of the reality of what this country has done to certain groups at certain times .


Ah,there's the rub,the courts.Why don't they just up the quotas.


You have two families: "John Legal" and "Juan Illegal". Both families have two parents, two children, and live in Arizona ..

John Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted.

Juan Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 in cash "under the table".

Ready? Now pay attention....

John Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; John Legal now has $31,231.00.

Juan Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200 per year. Juan Illegal pays no taxes. Juan Illegal now has $31,200.00.

John Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. John Legal now has $24,031.00.

Juan Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics and emergency hospitals at a cost of $0.00 per year. Juan Illegal still has $31,200.00.

John Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. John Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000..00 per year. John Legal now has $18,031.00.

Juan Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps, WIC and welfare. Juan Illegal still has $31,200.00.

John Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. John Legal now has 9,631.00.

Juan Illegal receives a $500.00 per month Federal Rent Subsidy. Juan Illegal pays out that $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Juan Illegal still has $ 31,200.00.

John Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for car insurance. Some of that is uninsured motorist insurance. John Legal now has $7,231.00.

Juan Illegal says, "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and still has $31,200.00.

John Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc..

Juan Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month..

John Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.

Juan Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.

John Legal's and Juan Illegal's children both attend the same elementary school. John Legal pays for his children's lunches, while Juan Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch. Juan Illegal's children have an after school ESL program. John Legal's children go home.

Now, when they reach college age, John Legal's kids may not get into a State School and may not qualify for scholarships, grants or other tuition help, even though John has been paying for state schools through his taxes, while Juan Illegal's kids "go to the head of the class" because they are a minority.

John Legal and Juan Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but John paid for them and Juan did not pay.

If you vote for or support any politician that supports illegal aliens... You are part of the problem!


The scenario you put forth is a separate problem altogether . One that involves companies that use illegal business practices . Besides I have seen this under the table kind of thing going on for years and illegal immigrants are not the only ones doing it . Many American citizens work under the table to make ends meet . Yes , it is illegal to do that , but it is definitely not completely an illegal immigrant issue , except to Republicans who want to scare up the votes of people who don't know the difference .


Not "picking" on you, Huronguy2, but since you had a very detailed statement I thought this was a good place for a response.

"Juan Illegal" pays ALL the taxes ANYONE ELSE pays. They pay sales tax on shoes, clothes, dish soap and gasoline. THEY PAY PROPERTY TAXES AND PROPERTY INSURANCE - NO LANDLORD PAYS THESE because they add this cost of doing business to the rent..and then take the deduction for paying the taxes and insurance. Schools, police and fire services are part of those taxes.

The "Juan Illegals" we know do NOT get paid anywhere near $15 an hour period, or get paid overtime for over 40 hours, weekends or holidays - if it's a paid holiday they work a day WITHOUT pay to make up for it and usually work overtime and weekends at straight pay JUST to keep the job and JUST to survive. IF there were any $15 an hour jobs around here for people "without skills or education" one would think those LEGALS with skills and education would be applying for and keeping those jobs, no?

The "Juan Illegal's" we know have tax ID #'s - even without legal status they can be issued these #'s. It's not the same as a social security number, but it at least accrues their withholding to THEIR OWN benefit. They DO pay ALL withholding, I've seen MANY paychecks. For the periods of time any of them work on somebody ELSE's social security # the withholding accrues to the account of that #...and since FEW IF ANY get their annual report and say "no, that's not MY earnings" they benefit at retirement or disability from the extra pay in SOMEBODY ELSE paid in.

"Juan Illegal's" do NOT get Medicaid or free medical care; ONLY the US born children are eligible for Medicaid. The adults may go to clinics or the ER and if it's pneumonia they may get a shot and cough medicine. The bill is usually over $1,000 and most of them DO pay it so they'll have a place to go next time. IF WE ALLOWED THEM TO BUY INTO THE ACA THEY WOULD...not only gaining themselves better health care than they now get or DON'T, but cheaper for them...annnnd might even lower YOUR premiums!

They are NOT eligible for metro or any other subsidized housing; only in very specific and LIMITED situations are they eligible for food stamps and then ONLY for the children, and subject to all of the income restrictions as anyone else.

I am mentoring about 6 of these US born children who will NOT get (or even apply for) free college as minorities but WILL probably qualify for scholarships - earned on the basis of high grades, community service, clean records, and money they are earning and saving to help pay for that education. NONE of them has brought home less than a B+ since 2nd grade.

EVEN IF we assume that all illegals are from south of the border... I don't assume they are all saints and we can't assume they are all therefore devils either. They are human beings.

If we're going to deport the ones with DUI's or drug charges, let's deport EVERYONE with those charges...why does citizenship give anyone the right to break laws, endanger children and generally be a drain on everyone else? I'll chip in to get rid of all the pedophiles and baby beaters, too - no matter WHERE they were born.

Finding people to blame for our problems DOESN'T SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS unless the person being blamed IS the problem.

Darwin's choice

Illegal is breaking the law.

End of story.

Go home Juan.


"Not a complete illegal immigration issue" you must be kidding me. Are you legal Bluto?
Of course this is a dang illegal immigrant issue. Resource suckers!


Am I legal ? As far as working and paying taxes ? Yes , I don't work side jobs for cash . If you're asking if I am a Native American , who's ancestors were invaded by Europeans ? No , I am not , and neither are you . Unless Native American heritage is your claim then everyone else should be considered illegals .

Stop It

My ex used to work at this place when we lived in Phx, AZ.


They are so expensive now that they don't even put the price up online until one jumps through hoops. Almost all maids and wait-persons are illegals. We lived in Phx in the early 80's. 'Haciendas' went for a few grand a night and held many actors and musicians. My ex got to meet quite a few famous people. Little to no tip.

The (back then) was the INS. They used to do monthly searches and the resort would hide them. A few got caught now and again and the resort would hand them an extra 100 bux to be back the next week after deportation. If it was that much back then, imagine now. They always laughed it off. Employer AND employee.


Are we talking about what is legal or some mythical what if this happened instead? I don't tend to talk about fairy tales, except to children. If you want to talk about Native Americans, I didn't read anything about them in the article nor are they involved in deportations currently going on. If you wish to talk about what if fairy tales I will keep my comments for when the adults start talking about deportation of illegals, be they folks who overstayed their visas or those who snuck over the border... illegally. The article was about current laws, not about fairy tales of what if it was different, it isn't different, it is real world.


Mammamia I am so curious how you know "most illegals pay their own hospital or emergency bills" just very curious, I bet they told you that huh? Your post is ridiculous and inconsistent. Illegal is illegal deport deport deport. Resource suckers!


When the bills come in they bring them to me. IF the hospital has a program to reduce bills based on income, I help them apply. These programs are usually available to anyone based on low income (they have to turn in pay stubs for proof) and might reduce the bill as much as 30% but some facilities do NOT offer them to undocumented people. In that case I help them set up a payment plan.

You're right, illegal is illegal. We're all entitled to our opinions and tolerance thresholds. For me, if their entry is the only illegal act I can live with it; I understand others can't.

dorothy gale

What happened in the past is just that --- past. This country now has laws. As an American citizen, if I am caught doing something ILLEGAL I will be punished. Immigration is not the problem; ILLEGAL immigration is. People in this country illegally, if caught, should be punished accirding to the laws of the land.

Darwin's choice

Correct Dorothy! The current administration needs the votes from these "illegals", thats the only plausible explanation! Why isn't obama's puppet, holder, enforcing the law? Because he's a criminal? Last week, the government went full "idiot" on a man who was accused of tresspassing with his cattle! Full riot gear minions with automatic weapons, yet these same enforcers do nothing to law breaking illegal aliens!! Makes you wonder.....democrats....!

The Big Dog's back

durwood, Obama isn't running for office anymore.

Darwin's choice

The elections this fall are going to be extremely painful for you dog!


Piddle Puppy, obama needs the Senate to stay dim, and the House to go back to dim, to be able to get his agenda though. The Hose will stay repube and the Senate we will see in November, as it looks like a toss up. That is where obama needs votes... in Congress, which is quite a stretch... especially in the House... the Senate as I said is a toss up. Understand now piddles? Or do you need it spoon fed? Or perhaps left in the cat's box?