Deportation to focus on high-priority cases, not same-sex marriagesBreaking News Thursday, August 18th, 2011
In a letter announced today, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano indicated a resolve to focus immigration deportation on pressing and immediate cases as opposed to those with a low-priority status such as cases involving families, including same-sex couples where one partner is facing deportation.
The effort is in response to move enforcement officials from a non-prioritized schedule, to one that focuses on the nation’s “highest priorities” including extreme or criminal cases.
Metro Weekly reports Napolitano’s letter comes in wake of “memoranda from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton addressing the exercise of prosecutorial discretion by ICE personnel” which requires officials, in effect, to exercise judgment in enforcing removal powers. In a statement to the paper, an administration official indicated the prosecutorial discretion would be used in cases where people with “strong community ties” would be affected by the deportation, such as partners in an LGBT family.
As a part of the strategy behind the intent at Homeland Security, cases of deportation will be reviewed individually in order to “provide appropriate discretionary consideration” in cases where families are affected.
Same-sex couples, LGBT families, and others who are currently affected by immigration laws involving deportation will be given “a case-by-case” review. New cases will also be subject to review in order to assess whether or not the case meets the newly-instated, high-priority standard.
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