12-6-11: Who Will Stay — and Who Will Go?

December 6, 2011 at 7:52 am 1 comment


With people who are living in the U. S. illegally, how do immigration courts decide who will be deported—and who will stay?  The Department of Homeland Security is changing the criteria for lawyers who decide which cases to prosecute.  It’s advising federal prosecutors to focus attention on those who’ve committed crimes since arriving in the United States–and to freeze low priority cases.  Prosecutors nationwide began applying the guidelines to new cases last month, and beginning this week, lawyers will review cases already on the docket in immigration courts in Baltimore and Denver.

Sheilah talks about how this will affect immigrants both in Maryland and throughout the country with Maureen Sweeney, Director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Maryland’s School of Law, and Ben Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council. 

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Rose  |  December 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    This is common sense at work, to give priority to those who have committed crimes, that frees up the system for those who come here with honorable intentions. My husband came here to work, because he had grown up in poverty and its taste was fresh in his mouth. He wanted something better for himself and for his parents. He had been here almost twenty years when his case finally came before the court. Despite an impeccable record of his life here in the U.S., affadavits from farmers in several states attesting to his strong work ethic, affadavits from family and friends witnessing him be an involved and supportive father, and sharing his strong faith in God with his American born children, it was the fact that I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and would suffer in the extreme circumstances found in Mexico that swayed the judge and prosecutor. It should not have come to that. Now everyday that I am in pain I have to also thank God, otherwise my family and I would probably have been deported.

    Reply

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