By Victoria Cepeda
The debate is on whether the Obama administration’s illegal immigration deportation policy is harsher than that of the Bush administration. So far, over 1 million illegal immigrants have been deported in the past 2.5 years. A palliative initiative, to what some believe to be the government’s harsh deportation tactics, was introduced in August allowing young people that were brought to the U.S. illegally to remain here.
Some 11.2 million illegal immigrants live and work in the United States today, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. The initiative is expected to help an estimated two million young people who under the stalled DREAM could have achieved citizenship by pursuing higher education or military service
Republican oppose the above initiative citing that “directing immigration authorities to use prosecutorial discretion to administratively implement such changes ignores Congress and existing federal law.” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton defined prosecutorial discretion as an agency’s authority “to decide to what degree to enforce the law against a particular individual.”
- In FY2010, convicted criminals numbered about 196,000 of those removed, an increase of 71 percent from Bush in FY2008.
- Of the the 1.06 million removed so far under Obama, 46 percent have been convicted criminals and 54 percent non-criminals. Bush’s removals were 41 percent criminal and 59 non-criminal, according to data provided by ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen.
- ICE credits the increased removal of those with criminal records to expansion of the Secure Communities Program, where local authorities automatically send fingerprints of those arrested to ICE
Therefore, if the above data is to be taken seriously, the Homeland Security and ICE seem to be doing their job.
Do you believe that maintaining an open border policy is sustainable, feasible and humane? At stakes here are the lives of thousands that risk themselves to cross the border, fall victim to forced labor at the hands of coyotes and would ultimately wind up dead anyway. Need I mention the thousands of teenagers and minors (both genders) that also end up as sex slaves.
Should immigration be the key focus of politicians when dealing with our community? What about social issues such as high unemployment rate and low graduation rates? Let us not even mention the deplorable state most of the school districts that Latinos attend are in.
So I am here to pick your brain. Do you support an unlimited open border policy where Homeland Security only deports criminals not just border crossers and non-criminals?
In my view, little can be accomplished in this government or the next if those Hispanics that are majority do not make their numbers count by registering to vote, mandating immigration reform and understanding that Latin American governments need to do a better job at stopping the maddening rate at which Latin-Americans flock to “el norte”. It’s not just a US problem, it’s a regional crisis.
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