The Department of Justice has directed immigration judges to put recent border-crossers at the top of their priority list.
The impact of the new July 9 directive is unclear, partly because it may not change whether the individual judges decide to approve legal requests to stay in the United States, from the growing wave of Central American migrants .
Also, tens of thousands of migrant youths, and additional border-crossing “family units” of mothers with children, have already been released into the United States by President Barack Obama’s deputies. Many of the released border-crossers are living with illegal-immigrant relatives in the United States, and won’t turn up at their court hearings. They won’t be pursued by immigration police unless Obama also changes the priorities he has has set for immigration officers.
Those priorities say that federal immigration agents should ignore illegal immigrants who have settled in cities and towns, unless the illegals also are convicted or major felonies.
According to the July 9 statement from the department, “the new priorities will be unaccompanied children who recently crossed the southwest border; families who recently crossed the border and are held in detention; families who recently crossed the border but are on “alternatives to detention;” and other detained cases.”
Obama is under growing public pressure to block the flood of Central Americans who are crossing the border to file asylum and humanitarian relief claims. Their number has grown enormously this year, and may go above 200,000 by October.
However, Obama is also under intense pressure from progressives and from Latino lobbies to let the poor and unskilled migrants stay in the United States. If they stay, they’ll eventually win citizenship and, statistics indicate, vote lopsidedly for Democratic candidates.
So far, he’s has stuck with the Latino lobbies. On July 8, for example, he asked Congress for $18 million to hire lawyers that would help the migrants win their court cases. (RELATED: Senator Offers Cheaper Solution To Fix Border Surge)