President Barack Obama’s deputies have agreed to let deported illegal immigrants refight their deportation cases and perhaps return permanently to the United States.
The Wednesday agreement with the ACLU initially covers nine Mexicans who claim they were tricked into signing fast-track “voluntary return” deportation agreements after 2009.
But the agreement also grants a legal precedent to the ACLU that they can use to claim that millions of other illegals were also improperly also sent home under the “voluntary return” policy.
From 2001 to 2012, roughly 8.8 million illegal immigrants were successfully deported under the same “voluntary return” process that is being challenged by the nine Mexicans, according to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies.
The agency-ACLU agreement is part of a larger push by progressive professionals — including immigration lawyers, political activists and union officials — to create many administrative loopholes in immigration law. The variety of loopholes increases the inflow of Democratic-leaning foreign migrants and workers, boosts the billable hours earned by lawyers and the political clout of activists.
The new agreement comes one day after a Department of Justice immigration panel decided to let unskilled Guatemalan women stay in the country, if they persuade immigration judges that they suffered from domestic abuse.
In May, Obama deputies announced they would grant work permits to roughly 100,000 spouses of university-trained guest-workers.
In June 2012, Obama also announced his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals amnesty, which has provided work-permits to more than 500,000 illegals, allowing them to compete for jobs sought by millions of unemployed Americans. This year, his deputies changed the rules to allow illegals to get residency even if they have no education, don’t meet the age guidelines or submit false documents.
Since 2010, Obama’s deputies have allowed a surge of 150,000 Central Americans adults, youths and children to apply for asylum in the United States.
Obama is now weighing whether to grant work permits to several million illegals, and is considering whether to allow companies to import hundreds of thousands of additional foreign graduates for jobs sought by American graduates.
Progressives are using administrative changes because the GOP majority in the House has blocked a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
If made law, that bill would have allowed many deported illegals to return to the United States. It also would have established a path to legal status for at least 12 million illegals still in the country, and would have effectively doubled the annual inflow of one million immigrants and roughly 700,000 migrant workers. Four million Americans turn 18 each year.
Despite strong pressure from business and lobbying interests, the GOP has blocked the law because it is unpopular among GOP voters and some swing voters. Increasingly, GOP legislators and strategists are denouncing Obama’s immigration polices as a threat to Americans’ wages and jobs.
The new agreement covering the nine Mexicans was signed by Obama’s deputies after various progressive groups sued his agencies in 2013 for successfully deporting many foreigners via the fast-track “voluntary return” process.
While their case are refought, the nine will be allowed back into the United States to live and work, even thought their cases may take years.
“Although the case involved only nine immigrants deported from San Diego and Los Angeles, it could apply to many more if a judge approves a section of the agreement that would extend it to all Mexicans who left from Southern California by voluntary departure after June 2009 and who would have had viable claims in immigration courts,” said a Wednesday report in The New York Times.
“The settlement also includes provisions that, if approved by the court, would allow some of the hundreds of thousands of Mexican nationals who have been expelled from the United States pursuant to unlawful ‘voluntary returns’ to reunite with their families here,” said an ACLU statement.
“An immigration official said that about 30,000 foreigners left in voluntary departures during the time period, but that only ‘a very small fraction’ would qualify to return,” according to the Times.
In the ACLU’s lawsuit, the illegal immigrants claimed they were unfairly pressured to sign “voluntary return” deportation agreements, which are similar to plea bargains in criminal courts.
But the voluntary return process offers some benefits to the immigrants.
Prior to 2010, officials typically offered detained illegals a choice of two deportation options.
They could undergo a formal and lengthy deportation process that would keep them in jail until their case was decided. Once deported, illegals would be automatically jailed for years if they were again caught illegally in the United States.
The second option is the quick “voluntary return” process. By accepting a voluntary return, they would be quickly sent home without spending much time in jail. Also, illegals who leave via the voluntary return process do not face automatic jail sentences if they are later caught in the United States.
Since 2001, roughly 8.8 million illegals have accepted the “voluntary return” option.
Under the new agreement, officials said they would revamp their process to ensure that illegals better understand the costs and benefits of the voluntary return option. The agreement also allows the illegals to hire lawyers to help them stay.
Since 2010, officials sharply reduced enforcement of immigration law against illegals living inside the United States. For example, in 2013, less than one percent of the 12 million illegals were deported for violating U.S. immigration law.
Official also reduced the number of voluntary returns, from 371,509 in 2009, to 80,516 in 2012, according to CIS.