REFLECTIONS

Posted on December 3, 2011

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FEDS MOVE ON DEPORTATIONS

IMMIGRATION REFORM NEEDED

Under presidential order the Department of Homeland Security is moving forward with plans to prioritize deportations so the most dangerous illegal immigrants are first in line to be booted out of this country.

This idea is to move faster on deporting convicted criminals and those who pose national security risks. Today there are over 300,000 deportation cases in our nation’s immigration courts. The court dockets are overloaded, and they are scheduled in the order they were filed.

The hope is to reduce court caseloads, and with a more practical deportation philosophy comes a new normal in our country.

Our dysfunctional Congress does need to address comprehensive immigration reform. But because of a void created by no action by Congress in this federal matter, states have took upon themselves to regulate illegal immigrants.

What has resulted is the extreme and unjust laws such as Alabama’s HB 56 and Arizona’s SB 1070, and we are witnessing an unprecedented criminalization of immigrants, many who have entered the country legally, while real solutions that address the underlying economic factors that leave people with little choice for survival but to immigrate are largely ignored. The Justice Department has filed suit against states who have unjust immigration laws.

Immigration reform must include full respect of human rights, prioritize family reunification, develop a clear path to permanent residence, and create humane economic polices. In Alabama even the president of Honda and the Mercedes Benz president have been arrested while visiting their automotive plants.

Under presidential order, federal officials have least interest in deporting the law-abiding elderly, children who have been in the U.S. for more than five years, young people pursuing a college degree who came here before they were 16, and those who are victims of domestic violence. There are over 11 million illegal immigrants in our country, and we need to help them obtain citizenship.

Weeding out low-priority immigration cases is a necessary step on this long road to resolving the current problem.

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