Latest News 2017 July Immigration Attorneys Agree: Deportation Not the Answer

Immigration Attorneys Agree: Deportation Not the Answer

Despite record highs when it came to removal rates, Obama's immigration policies were focused on undocumented immigrants who had committed serious or violent crimes. Prioritizing enforcement activity allowed Immigrations & Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol to pour their resources into doing their jobs while promoting public safety.

On February 20th, the Department of Homeland Security made it clear that prioritizing at-large or convicted criminals would no longer be the guiding principle of ICE and other immigration enforcement agencies. Instead, they would "focus" their efforts on virtually everyone—a decision seemingly guided by President Trump's campaign promise to deport all "2 million" dangerous undocumented immigrants in the nation.

It's unclear where this number appeared—although it may be from a report that noted that there are 3 million immigrants who are eligible for deportation in the United States. It should be noted that this number includes people who have committed nonviolent crimes or minor infractions. The report also said nothing of the practicality and cost of deporting so people.

However, numerous news sources have reported the cost and difficulty of deporting so many people. The humanitarian concerns aside, there are major obstacles to deporting millions of people—a number that far outstrips the 65,000 or so removals that result from ICE investigations every year.

Comments from American Immigration Attorneys

The rights abuses that ICE's goals would practically require is what has the American Immigration Lawyers Association concerned. Led by an woman who was granted asylum to the United States when she was 15 years old, the AILA is made of thousands of immigration attorneys nationwide. At their national conference in June, President Annalusia Padilla came out strong against the Department of Homeland Security's new approach to immigrant removal.

"We must stand united to resist the hatred, counter the lies, uphold our constitution, and reaffirm that we are all entitled to due process of the law regardless of country of origin," she said. In another comment, the AILA leader commented on the Supreme Court decision to allow partial implementation of the travel ban: "Based on our experiences from earlier this year, I fully expect that we will see people with valid travel documents detained for hours…refugees who don't have [valid] connections will be blocked. Not only will our economy feel the effects, our reputation in the world will suffer."

While lawmakers and judges will need to decide how to handle Trump's policies, the real fight will be in the local and state courts who will hear (many) immigration cases for the next 4 years or so.

Categories: Asylum, Immigration