White House loosens border rules for 2012

Neil Munro|Daily Caller

The Obama reelection campaign, and has maintained close ties to Hispanic advocacy groups, including La Raza.

President Barack Obama’s administration is quietly offering a quasi-amnesty for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, while aiming to win reelection by mobilizing a wave of new Hispanic voters, say supporters of stronger immigration law enforcement.

The new rules were quietly announced Friday with a new memo from top officials at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. The “prosecutorial discretion” memo says officials need not enforce immigration laws if illegal immigrants are enrolled in an education center or if their relatives have volunteered for the US military.

“They’re pushing the [immigration] agents to be even more lax, to go further in not enforcing the law,” said Kris Kobach, Kansas’ secretary of state. “At a time when millions of Americans are unemployed and looking for work, this is more bad news coming from the Obama administration… [if the administration] really cared about putting Americans back to work, it would be vigorously enforcing the law,” said Kobach, who has helped legislators in several states draft local immigration-related laws.

“We think it is an excellent step,” said Laura Vasquez, at the Hispanic-advocacy group, La Raza, which pushed for the policies, and which is working with other groups to register Hispanics to vote in 2012. “What’s very important is how the prosecutorial discretion memo is implemented” on the streets, she said.

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Here are the administrations new rules:

The memo issued by Morton addresses “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion Consistent with the Priorities of the Agency for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Aliens.” Which includes the following:

• settling or dismissing a proceeding;
• granting deferred action, granting parole, or staying a final order of removal;
• agreeing to voluntary departure, the withdrawal of an application for admission, or other action in lieu of obtaining a formal order of removal;
• pursuing an appeal;
• executing a removal order; and
• responding to or joining in a motion to reopen removal proceedings and to consider joining in a motion to grant relief or a benefit.

Morton’s memo makes it clear that certain factors should be taken into consideration while excogitating prosecution of individuals in the United Stated unlawfully. The memo refers to the first set of these as positive factors. These individuals would essentially be given priority in expediting their cases for possible immediate release or deferral of arrest or prosecution.

The following positive factors should prompt particular care and consideration:
• veterans and members of the U.S. armed forces;
• long-time lawful permanent residents;
• minors and elderly individuals;
• individuals present in the United States since childhood;
• pregnant or nursing women;
• victims of domestic violence; trafficking, or other serious crimes;
• individuals who suffer from a serious mental or physical disability; and
• individuals with serious health conditions.

The next set is equally as important and further specifies those who would once again qualify for immediate release or deferral of arrest or prosecution.