Immigration Newsletter

Monday, November 4, 2013

Felony deportations decline as ICE officers resist former chief's 2010 directive | The Chicago Reporter

Felony deportations decline as ICE officers resist former chief's 2010 directive | The Chicago Reporter

here is an excerpt from the article linked above ....

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, an immigration law professor at Penn State Law School, said this data potentially raise serious concerns about whether the agency is channeling its limited resources into its highest enforcement priorities.
Wadhia, who has extensively researched the agency’s use of prosecutorial discretion, said if the agency doesn’t follow its own policy that could affect public trust in the government.
But the mistrust is also happening within the enforcement agency.
Some immigration officials have balked at some of Morton’s directives and refused to follow them. A group of immigration enforcement agents sued Morton and the Department of Homeland Security after the Obama administration announced its deferred action directive. The officers said that if they complied with the policy they would be violating federal immigration law and their oath to uphold federal law. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit last month.
“The culture is difficult to change from the top down,” Chan said. “And because of the lack of accountability, the community is very skeptical.”
Matthew Kovac helped research this article.

I don't doubt that this is the case. I suspect there are many in the trenches who virulently disagree with exercising any discretion for any reason. It is as difficult for me to understand them as is it for others to understand why I do what I do. Until someone you know is involved in deportations -- it is all just policy talk. 

When you see it in person it is different. It varies in each case -- but many times, deportation means the end of someone's life as they have known it. It can be really hard and very cruel.

In order to do the job as an ICE enforcement agent effectively -- you have to be able to set all of that aside and then be able to not feel sympathy. Otherwise -- the job would eat you up inside. I'm sure for some they had to leave the field for that sort of reason. But trying to translate top down "prosecutorial discretion" to people in ICE enforcement has got to be a difficult proposition.

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