- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
DHS: Illegal immigrant students not a target for deportation
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday that illegal immigrant students and young adults who meet the criteria in last year’s failed legalization bill in Congress are not a “priority” for her department’s law enforcement efforts.
Wading into an increasingly thorny debate, Miss Napolitano said she cannot unilaterally ignore deportations laws for broad groups of illegal immigrants, but said students and young adults who would have been legalized had last year’s “Dream Act” legislation passed Congress are not a chief target of federal authorities.
“I will say, and can say, that you know what? They are not, that group, if they truly meet all those criteria, and we see very few of them actually in the immigration system, if they truly meet those [criteria], they’re not the priority,” the secretary said at an event sponsored by NDN, a progressive think tank and advocacy group, on the future of the nation’s border policies.
“The reason we set priorities is so that the focus could be on those in the country who are also committing other illegal acts,” she said.
Miss Napolitano also insisted that the border is more secure now than in the past, and said that claims to the contrary are not only hurting business in those communities along the border, they show disrespect to those trying to enforce immigration laws.
“It is simply inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border with Mexico is overrun or out of control,” she said. “This statement — I think sometimes it’s made to score some political points — but it’s wrong. It’s just plain wrong.”
Alan Krieger, mayor of Yuma, a city on the border in the southwest corner of Arizona, said the questions about the security of the region do hurt, but they are based on false perceptions.
“I can’t afford to let the overriding message of ‘border wars’ simply rob us of an economic opportunity to create jobs,” he said. “Yuma, Arizona, is safe, secure and ready for business. And that rings true for a lot of other communities.”
By the same token, he also criticized the calls to boycott Arizona that came after the state passed its law cracking down on illegal immigrants last year.
Immigrant-rights advocates say they feel betrayed by the Obama administration, which has set records for deportations over the last two years. Earlier this week they announced a 20-city tour to try to pressure President Obama to halt deportations in order to protect illegal immigrants while Congress remains locked in a stalemate over the issue.
Mr. Obama himself this week said he cannot ignore deportation laws, but he said those students who would have been eligible for the Dream Act are people “we want to see succeed.”
Both Miss Napolitano and John Morton, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Friday that those individuals are not a focus of their efforts.
“If you take a look at the record, people that fit within the confines of the Dream Act, there are in fact very, very few deportations of those kinds of individuals,” Mr. Morton said.
Known by advocates as “dreamers,” immigrants who would have met Dream Act requirements are among the toughest cases in the immigration system. In most cases they were brought to the U.S. by their parents, had no say in the decision, and often have no ties to the countries where they were born.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
- Federal deficit shrinks 20 percent in fiscal 2014
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Bipartisan House votes against 'patent trolls' who file lawsuits against innovators
- Bipartisan House votes to stop patent 'trolls'
Latest Blog Entries
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- A Mandela remembrance
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Behind Andy Reid, Chiefs enjoying a resurgence
- Study suggests link between gun ownership, racism
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!