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Immigration Violations Should Not be an Enforcement Priority
ICE claims that 98 percent of the individuals it removed last year fell within its priorities for civil immigration enforcement. That is misleading. Over 40 percent of those removed have no criminal background whatsoever, for more on the statistics read, “ICE Deportations Statistics are No Laughing Matter.” Tens of thousands of immigrants are deported each year who pose no risk to public safety. People with a single immigration status violation (like a prior removal order) are often considered priorities for removal through a process called expedited removal, even if they have lived in the United States for a long time, have a U.S. citizen child or spouse, or other equities that merit discretion. A status violation like this one, which only affects immigrants, should not make one a priority for removal. At a bare minimum, these individuals should be granted prosecutorial discretion if there circumstances merit it. Meaning they must pass a criminal background and must have some compelling factors warranting discretion, like long time residence in the U.S., family ties to the U.S., stable employment, and similar factors. This is a simple fix, but it requires a recognition that our deportation system needs reform and allowing some modicum of discression. If you or a loved one are in removal proceedings and you want to know your options, go to www.QualifyForLegalStatus.com or www.CalificasParaPapeles.com (in Spanish) and answer the questions to see if you qualify for legal status today. If you are ready to talk to our knowledgeable staff call 888-695-6169.