The deportation reviews announced by the Obama Administration back in August have not happened yet. Two months later, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano claims that they will begin shortly.
The Obama administration soon will begin its systematic review of the approximately 300,000 pending deportation cases, separating “high priority” cases involving criminals it wants to deport from “low priority” cases it will drop, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress Wednesday.
Napolitano said a group of Homeland Security and Justice Department officials will begin a small “pilot” review of immigration cases in “two or three” weeks, and hopes to rapidly expand its efforts.
Keep in mind that the Administration said they would prioritize convicted criminals over other undocumented immigrants last year. They resisted for months a review of all the cases, despite many claims of people caught up in the system who were innocent of any crime (some of them even American citizens), and now, two months after announcing the review, they are set to begin just a pilot program in 2-3 weeks.
Even with this priority last year, the Administration only managed about 55% of all deportations of immigrants with criminal records. This is an increase from the Bush years, but just a bare majority, despite prosecutorial discretion on only the “worst of the worst.” And the definition of “criminal” itself is suspect. Under their own guidelines, the Administration wants to prioritize deporting those who threaten public safety and national security. In truth, Latinos have become a majority in federal prisons, based mostly on immigration violations. This is despite being just 16% of the population. And we know that Secure Communities takes over 90% Latinos into its system, despite Latinos being more like 75% of all undocumented immigrants.
This then becomes the “crime” justifying deportation. That surge in “criminal” deportations is probably due to a redefinition of what it means to be counted as a “criminal” deportation.
And this deportation review is unlikely to stop the record level of deportations, which hit 400,000 last year. Obama Administration official Cecilia Munoz admitted on a Frontline documentary this week that “As long as Congress gives us the money to deport 400,000 people a year, that’s what the administration is going to do.”
That’s a pretty shocking admission, that the 400,000 deportations assumes a quota, suggested by Congress through their contract orders, that the Administration plans to fill. The goal is not removing violent criminals who have no legal right to be in the United States, then, it’s filling an order. An order which benefits private contractors who run the deportation system in the US.