Thursday, November 17, 2011

Obama administration announces shift in immigration policy

The New York Times is reporting today that the United States government will be reconfiguring its deportation policies and procedures at every level to focus on accelerating deportations of convicted criminals and ceasing, or at least limiting, forced removal of immigrants who have committed no crime other than the illegality of their presence on American soil.

The goal of this policy revision is to reduce the burden on immigration judges, who have the unenviable task of separating families and wasting valuable time deporting individuals with no criminal record, while violent gang members and others remain incarcerated and awaiting trial. This procedural shift has been a long time coming, and ought to bode well for future changes to an immigration system in the United States that, while generous in comparison to many other countries, lacks the cohesion and consistency necessary for it to be successful.

One of the largest problems with the asylum process, and the immigration legal apparatus as a whole, is the fact the immigration judges don't have the necessary time to make the unimaginably important decisions that they are tasked with carrying out on a daily basis. Hopefully these changes will allow them to focus their energy on removing illegal immigrants who threaten our society, rather than those who are merely seeking a better life.

1 comment:

arabianknight said...

I read about this online the other day, and somehow, I knew someone was going to post something relating to the issue! I completely agree that one of the biggest problems with our asylum process is the fact that judges do not have the time and resources to fully concentrate on each individual issue. I also feel that providing counsel for detainees would help the situation as well. Our system puts the burden of proof on the asylum seekers without realizing that most of these people have escaped torture and trauma and are not able to completely function. Also, most times they do not know the language, let alone understand our immigration policies.