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Activists Increase Pressure on White House over Deportations

Record numbers of deportations during the administration of President Barack Obama are prompting immigration activists and advocates to increase protests and pressure on the White House and legislators to reduce the number of forced removals. In late April, a dozen supporters of immigrants’ rights in the United States were arrested after allegedly participating in acts of civil disobedience against mass deportations.

Legislators from the Democratic Party are issuing strong calls to President Obama to stop the flow of deportations by means of executive decree. One of the reasons cited for this massive increase in deportations is that the Department of Homeland Security is now better prepared to enforce its non-judicial discretion under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act of 1996.

The primary enforcement agencies conducting deportations have been Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The budgets for these two agencies is tied to the Patriot Act, and their funding has increased substantially since 2002. According to recent reports by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), Congress has been consistent in awarding more money to these agencies since the early 21st century.

The MPI has also determined that things could be worse. The White House has actually exercised some level of restraint by asking officials at the enforcement agencies to not be so aggressive in their pursuit of deportations. What activists want, however, is a complete moratorium for removals of immigrants whose criminal records are based on minor offenses and who also have familial and community ties in the U.S. Looking for more information about family law immigration? Click here and learn about family petitions, adjustments of status and K-1 and k-3 visas.

President Obama has promised to look into the matter, but he has also reminded Congress that passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform would largely solve this problem. The White House has strongly supported this legislative proposal, but executive action has been limited in order to avoid the ruffling of partisan feathers.

Homeland Security is also considering a slowdown of deportations, particularly of undocumented immigrants whose criminal records do not pose danger to the community. Immigrants should also keep in mind that their undocumented status does not preclude them from due process as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution; to this effect, they should seek the advice of San Diego immigration attorneys if they are arrested or cited to appear in court for any reason.

To speak with a professional attorney about your specific immigration case, contact Kazmi and Sakata Immigration Law Firm in San Diego at 858-874-0711.

May 2024