News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Mon. Aug. 22, 2011: The National Council of La Raza has praised the Department of Homeland Security for announcing it will review the current deportation caseload and identify low-priority cases that should be considered for an exercise of discretion.

“This is a significant acknowledgment by DHS that it needs a process in place to focus on the people it has stated are its enforcement priority—people who have committed serious crimes and who pose a grave threat to public safety,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “Focusing on the greatest threats is just plain common sense when it comes to law enforcement.”

The Obama Administration announced new immigration rules on Thursday, August 18th that will potentially allow thousands of immigrants to dodge deportation.
Under the new rules, the Department of Homeland Security will only focus on deporting immigrants who have criminal records or who pose a threat to society. Individuals without criminal records but who are currently in the deportation process will have their cases shelved, allowing them to remain in the country and apply for a work visa.
“We will closely monitor the implementation of this process to ensure that it is applied robustly and that it brings public safety squarely into focus,” Murguía added.
“Advocates across the country have been doing an incredible amount of work to share the countless stories of how the current policies are creating fear and suffering in communities nationwide. We are hopeful that this new action will bring us to a place where community safety is the focus of enforcement actions, and the pain felt in communities is diminished.”

Approximately 300,000 cases will be reviewed to determine whether each is a candidate for deportation under the new rules.

“From a law enforcement and public safety perspective, DHS enforcement resources must continue to be focused on our highest priorities,” US DHS Secretary, Janet Napolitano, wrote in a letter to senators working to revamp the current immigration system. “Doing otherwise hinders our public safety mission–clogging immigration court dockets and diverting DHS enforcement resources away from individuals who pose a threat to public safety.”

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