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Handful of Deportations Halted as New Removal Criteria Worked Out; Read Dept of Homeland Security FAQ on New Guidleines

| August 31, 2011
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Arturo Rengifo and his son, Arturo Rengifo, Jr., are two undocumented Concord residents who were ordered to leave the country by Aug 30. Yesterday, however, Immigration and Customs Enforcement granted them a 30-day reprieve so it could review their case. But it took an intervention by a U.S. Senator — Dick Durbin from Illinois — to stall the process.

According to the Rengifos’ lawyer, Rhoda Wilkinson Domingo, Mr. Rengifo’s wife is not subject to an order of removal, and another son is a permanent resident. Wilkinson Domingo also sent out the following background information yesterday:

Mr. Rengifo and his family fled from Peru in 1993 after they were attacked and threatened by the Shining Path, a terrorist guerilla movement that now engages in highly dangerous narcotics trafficking. The Rengifo children were 15 and 6 years old, respectively, at the time. They have not left the United States since then.

“My father and I never even packed,” Rengifo, Jr. told KQED’s Mina Kim yesterday. “It’s been the greatest miracle ever, that’s ever happened to me. Even these 30 days gives us another chance of hope to live and just do what we need to do here, and that’s live the American dream, and live as a family.”

“We’ve never been split apart, ever. For me and my dad to leave and to leave my mom here, it’s taking part of my mom’s heart. It’s really devastating. I’m still in this state of mind where I am going to stay here. I’m putting everything in the hands of God, whatever’s going to happen is going to happen. But I know that good things will happen to us, hopefully, since we are good people.”

Here’s audio of Rengifo’s reaction, which starts with his recounting of his appeal to ICE to reassess his case under the new federal guidelines that prioritize deportation of undocumented immigrants who pose a public safety risk, as opposed to those who meet certain mitigating criteria — outlined in a Jun 17 memo (pdf). Rengifo says an immigration officer told him the policy shift was “not new news,” and that deportations were continuing.

Audio: Arthur Rengifo, Jr. reacts to 3-day extension

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In that Jun 17 memo, under a header called “Factors to Consider When Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion,” ICE officials are directed to weigh some 20 considerations in deciding whether to apprehend, detain, or remove any of the 300,000 immigrants who currently face deportation. Such factors include education, age, health status, ties and contributions to the community, and family ties to legal residents.

However, as reported in this Contra Costa Times article about the Rengifos, the case-by-case reviews under the new policy have not yet begun, as the process for assessment is still being worked out. However:

Bay Area immigration lawyers have heard of a few anecdotal cases of immigration agents or judges halting a deportation since the June memo, and all of those involved illegal immigrants who are students or same-sex married spouses.

Last week, a San Francisco judge closed a deportation case against a member of a same-sex couple from southern California. The judge’s decision came at the request of ICE. Two other same-sex couples, including one from Oakland, have also had their deportation orders rescinded. All the cases involve men who married legal residents in states allowing same-sex marriage. Previously, this was not enough to shield an undocumented spouse from deportation, as it would in an opposite-sex marriage, because the Defense of Marriage Act prohibits federal recognition of same-sex unions.

Here’s an FAQ on the policy shift recently posted by the Department of Homeland Security. Some important points, if they prove to be adhered to:

Will removal proceedings or removals be halted while the interagency working group completes its review?

No. DHS will continue to enforce immigration laws. ICE attorneys and agents, however, will be tasked to review each case prior to the expenditure of resources to determine whether it is a priority case as defined in the June 30, 2010 Civil Enforcement Priorities memorandum and the June 17, 2011 Prosecutorial Discretion memorandum. Removals will continue while the working group undertakes its review.

Can individuals affirmatively apply for an exercise of discretion through this process?

No. This process does not involve the creation of an affirmative application process, although, consistent with longstanding practice, individuals in removal proceedings and their representatives remain free to submit information relevant to their case to the appropriate ICE field offices or attorneys. Any attorney or representative who purports to be able to secure an individual relief through an affirmative application to ICE or DOJ as part of this process is engaged in a scam and should be reported to the relevant authorities at DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or DHS.

When will the working group complete its review?

Given the volume of cases involved, it will likely take the working group several months to complete its review of cases pending in immigration and federal court.

Does the implementation of the process mean that only individuals with criminal convictions will be removed?

No. Many individuals who have violated civil immigration law but lack a criminal conviction are a DHS priority for removal from the United States. This process is designed to free up additional resources to process and remove high priority cases. DHS priorities include threats to public safety and national security, repeat violators of immigration law, recent illegal border entrants, and immigration fugitives.

Should unlawfully present individuals who do not consider themselves high priority cases voluntarily surrender to ICE to avail themselves of this process?

No. Any individual who self surrenders due to a belief that they will benefit from an exercise of discretion is very likely to be placed in removal proceedings and runs a serious risk that they will be removed from the United States. Nothing in this process creates a right or an entitlement to any person regardless of their individual circumstances

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Category: Immigration, Legal, LGBT

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  • Brittanicus

    It’s time to expose hard -core leftist Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who has taken it upon herself in contracting with foreign countries to pamper illegal aliens. This is outrageous and unconstitutional in signing some formal alliance with diplomats from a group of Latin American nations. Her intent to shelter of what Solis described as the labor rights, for both legal and illegal migrants working unlawfully in America. First President Obama signs into law an unauthorized fiat to preselect only heinous criminal aliens, but other illegal aliens are to be set free, with the possibility of a working visa. Then we have Solis, who interprets as the labor rights for both legal and illegal immigrants working in the U.S. Both Obama and Solis have ignored the US Constitution our “Rule of Law” and gone over the heads of Congress. In a signing ceremony between the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and El Salvador and adjoining with Mexico, Nicaragua and Guatemala, who had signed this agreement in the past?

    This newly revised agreement that U.S. Labor Secretary signed with Latin American nations is supposedly aimed at protecting both legal and illegal workers in this country, by educating employers and workers alike about health, safety, and wage laws. This women needs to get her head on straight, because she is scheming with the open border nuts, and foreign countries contravening against real American workers. Is this why Eric Holder, the Department of IN-Justice tearing at the financial throats of Arizona, Alabama and Georgia to attempt in lowering their defenses, creating pressure on struggling States. Its apparent intent to make other states think twice before employing their own policing laws, in saving these states from insolvency? Pay attention to the fact, if you came to America legally of any religious denomination–if you are Black, White, Hispanic or any other race and undertook the documentation to join our culture; have always been welcome.

    This President and his officials are a humiliating every working American of all occupational levels. Solis promotes illegal immigration, which once the signal goes out will draw into America more foreigners, which taxpayers will be burdened with? We need a president who cares for the American people, the 14 million citizens and residents, with the majority still looking for work. The Labor Department on its website says the (INA.) The Immigration & Nationality Act only protects “U.S. citizens and aliens authorized to accept employment in the U.S. from discrimination in hiring or discharge.” Solis seems to have amended INA policy on her own, saying at the signing ceremony Solis stated:

    “No matter how you got here or how long you plan to stay, you have certain rights,” Solis said. “You have the right to be safe and in a healthy workplace and the right to a legal wage. We gather here today to strengthen our shared commitment to protect the labor rights of migrant workers in the United States. Unfortunately, due to language barriers and immigration status, migrant workers can be those that are most vulnerable abused.”

    Illegal Immigration is a spreading contagion, that must be diminished and eventually end as a trickle. In today’s NumbersUSA, Eurofresh Inc., the nation’s largest grower of greenhouse tomatoes, last week pleaded guilty to knowingly hiring illegal aliens and was fined $600,000. The Arizona-based company will remain on probation for five years. $ 600.000 is a worthy fine for stealing jobs from Americans, but somebody should go to prison. AS I HAVE CONTINUALLY REPEATED, WHY ISN’T ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION A FELONY AS IN OTHER COUNTRIES? THAT WAY WE COULD CONSTRUCT A JAIL SYSTEM LIKE MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFFS JOE ARPAIO TENT CITY IN ARIZONA?

    All illegal aliens should be removed from regular jails and prisons and placed in Arizona’s notorious Joseph M. Arpaio canvas city prison and it would change anybody’s mind in illegally coming here. Joe’s tent city is an equally opportunity criminal incarceration compound, with high wire fences and attired with razor wire. Hundreds of thousands in jail for Drunken driving killers, child and female attacks, homicides and you name it; Let the Sheriff’s Joe’s cuisine, for ten years and temperatures reaching 120 degrees under canvas. Millions of illegal aliens from across the borders and tourist over-stay’s, would only be too happy to go home, after living on the daily sustenance of Bologna sandwiches. Arpaio makes the inmates wear pink undergarments and the usual critics have complained that it’s a cruel and unusual punishment, though no one can find a law against it. American society should build more of these tent cities for illegal immigrant invaders, in desert areas and make it uncomfortable to stay here. Then make Joe Arpaio as warden to enforce our laws.

    Taking money from taxpayers to support foreigners is downright treasonous and must stop. Giving out $113 Billion a year in entitlements to foreign nationals to pacify the open borders set and the Leftist extremist minority is a disgusting situation must end. That’s why millions of Americans tormented by this financial, moral and legal evidence are joining the conservative TEA PARTY. Under scrutiny are the executive directives Of Eric Holder, so is there another move of Obama’s Liberal soldiers to covertly pass another damaging amnesty as in 1986, the TEA PARTY will be ready to scream “impeachment.” The Tea Party is not growing by the hundreds, but millions and expected to vote into the political arena, even more moderate conservative leaders.

    Under the TEA PARTY agenda there will be no Amnesties, Sanctuary cities or States, no Dream Acts and no policies that rescind the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control bill. The TEA PARTY will instruct Congress, to mandate E-Verify for inveterate business owners and (S-Comm) Secure Communities to fingerprint and forward to ICE. Learn more about the illegal alien free give-away’s, at “NumbersUSA.” Observe more in Democratic and Liberal press concealment of odious criminal cases across the United States at “American Patrol.” Then “Judicial Watch” website is a legally Conservative site that Promotes Integrity, Transparency and Accountability in Government, Politics and the Law, and exposes corruption in Washington. Learn who can be trusted and who cannot in Congress at “Judicial Watch.” Just type in any browser Search engine any of these pro-sovereignty websites.
    MY EARLIER BLOGS: http://brittanicus-enoughisenough.blogspot.com/

    No Copyright. Distribute Freely.

    REMEMBER ILLEGAL ALIENS DO VOTE IN “CITIZEN ONLY” ELECTIONS!

  • mary

    Try her for TREASON. She obviously is trying to destroy the sovreigntry of this country.