17 November 2011

US to review immigration deportation system

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The US Department of Homeland Security will begin a review of the deportation system to speed up processing and prioritise deporting illegal immigrants convicted of offences.

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The US will begin training prosecutors and immigration officials to prepare them for the new deportation strategy of the Obama Administration.

Immigrants to the US who do not hold a valid America visa but have never been convicted of a crime may be granted a reprieve, as homeland security authorities today begin a review of the deportation system.

Immigration officials, enforcement agents and prosecutors will be subjected to a nationwide training program to accelerate deportation cases and implement the new strategy introduced by the Obama Administration in June 2011.

Under the new policy framework, immigration officials are encouraged to use "prosecutorial discretion" in choosing which cases to pursue, in an effort to reduce the backlog of illegal immigration cases and take pressure off the court system.

"We are empowering the attorneys nationally to make them more like federal prosecutors, who decide what cases to bring," an anonymous Homeland Security official told The New York Times.

The policy will supposedly "reduce inefficiencies that delay the removal of criminal aliens and other priority cases by preventing new low priority cases from clogging the immigration court dockets," the official added.

An initial test run is scheduled to be completed by January 13 2012.

According to a New York Times editorial, "The approach of deporting some illegal immigrants but not others requires a deep change in the mentality of the agents, who have long operated on the principle that any violation was good cause for deportation".

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has presided over an all-time record of deportations for visa and immigration violations, with almost 400,000 deportations in the financial year to September.


The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people with their ESTA visa application.

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