President Barack Obama’s unilateral amnesty will gut the long-standing Secure Communities program, which allows state officials to transfer illegals immigrants to federal agencies.
The changes mean even fewer illegals who violate state laws — including theft and drunk-driving — will be accepted by federal officials for repatriation.
Under Obama’s new changes, immigration officials at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency can only ask — not require — that state police hold illegals until they can be picked up by federal officials for repatriation. “Before it was a demand, now it is a request,” a White House officials said.
That change means that left-leaning states — including California and New York — can shield illegals from deportation, regardless of popular federal laws against illegal immigration.
The changes are justified by demands from local communities, the White House official said. The new policy “responds to the concerns that communities have identified. … We think this is smart and good government,” he said.
Obama’s new policy also means that enforcement officers won’t be even allowed to ask states to hold illegals until pickup by immigration officials, unless the illegals are first convicted of a criminal offense.
That’s a big change, because many illegals are handed over to federal immigration agencies prior to trials for criminal offenses. That’s has been useful for federal and state officers, partly because trials are expensive and sometimes result in a not-guilty verdict.
That’s important, because it means that state officials won’t be able to exclude illegals from their states. State police don’t have the legal authority to repatriate illegals, except via the gutted Secure Communities program.
Also, federal officials won’t even be allowed to ask state officials to hold illegals who are convicted of lesser charges and convictions, such as driving with a broken traffic light, said the White House official.
The official did not say what other lesser offenses would be ignored. However, the Senate’s failed 2013 immigration bill included language that would have largely prevented the deportation of illegals who were convicted of drunk driving.
The changes mean that Obama won’t allow repatriation of illegals — no matter how often they are arrested by state officials — unless they are found guilty of additional major crimes.
Since 2009, Obama has been reducing immigration enforcement, even as he touts the number of new border-crossers who are quickly deported.
For example, enforcement officials repatriated 258,608 migrants between October 2013 and August 2014. During the same period in the prior year, it repatriated 320,167 illegal immigrants.
In 2013, less than one percent of the 12 million illegals in the country were deported. The 12 million includes at least 100,000 foreigners convicted of criminal offenses, according to watchdog groups, such as the Center for Immigration Studies.