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Thread: Obama promised to deport felons, not families—but that’s not what’s happening

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    May 2006

    Obama promised to deport felons, not families—but that’s not what’s happening

    On Mar. 18, the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee launched an unusual press release: a GIF-laden listicle explaining how Republicans propose to increase immigration enforcement. “The problem is that when our immigration laws aren’t enforced, it encourages more illegal immigration and causes the system to implode. Not cool,” reads one caption.

    (United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee)
    The listicle touts a bill the committee approved this month that would defund president Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration in the United States, and would give more power to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency responsible for detaining and deporting immigrants. The legislation would give ICE the authority to arrest suspects of immigration violations regardless of flight risk—the likelihood a person will not show up to their immigration court date or go into hiding. It also calls for an additional 5,000 ICE deportation officers and to expedite deportations of immigrants convicted of crimes.

    But ICE is already deporting more people than it should. In Nov. 2014, president Obama promised that only felons—not families—should fear deportation, and announced two programs called the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). These aim to give temporary deportation relief and employment authorization to immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, as well as to parents of children with legal status. ICE is already deporting more people than it should.

    As the father and grandfather of several US citizens, 48-year-old Pedro Rivera Martinez of Clarkton, Missouri, should benefit from DAPA. But today he is facing deportation. In May 2014, ICE agents came to Rivera’s home to arrest him. Their actions were based on a 1986 deportation order and a misdemeanor charge Rivera received for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border 26 years ago. Rivera’s lawyer Wesley Schooler made several appeals to stop the deportation, but all were denied. When Obama announced executive action in Nov. 2014, Schooler submitted a new stay request based on DAPA.

    He hasn’t received an answer yet.

    This is because the ongoing legal battles over the president’s executive action sidelined the programs that could potentially protect Rivera. In Feb. 2015, a Texas federal judge issued an injunction to temporarily halt DACA and DAPA, and a message on ICE’s detention reporting and information phone line confirms that the agency is not currently taking eligibility for deportation relief programs into account.

    Obama has expressed confidence that the injunction will be eventually be overruled, noting that the Department of Homeland Security is still preparing for DACA and DAPA’s implementation. But from Oct. 2014 through Feb. 2015, the majority of ICE deportation orders continued to target people like Rivera—less than 11 percent of deportation orders filed in immigration courts were based on criminal activity, according to federal data from Syracuse University. Due to the ongoing legal battle over the president’s executive action, the new programs that could protect Rivera are on hold.

    *“It’s families, not felons,” said Matthew Kolken, an immigration attorney in Buffalo, NY, who analyzes deportation trends, to Quartz. “The ‘felons not families’ narrative is in direct opposition to the statistics.”

    ICE has also raised bond prices and even instituted no-bond policies at some detention centers, said Charles Kuck, an Atlanta, Ga.-based immigration attorney and the former national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, to Quartz. “What we’re missing here is the little bit of mercy that always must come with justice to make the laws just.”

    In Rivera’s small town, a host of residents—from Clarkton’s mayor to the retired police chief—have written letters on his behalf. Signatures on a petition to stop the deportation refer to Rivera as “wonderful” and “an outstanding citizen of our community.” One petitioner wrote: “He’s done nothing to harm this country or its people, so why can’t he stay?”

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Obama promised to deport felons, not families—but that’s not what’s happening
    This is just false PR rhetoric, "deport felons, not families". Who makes up this crap? There is no person, felon or otherwise, who isn't part a "family". When does US law take pity on a criminal because he or she is part of a "family"? Does law enforcement forgive the crimes? Does it give the criminal "amnesty" or "deferred action"? Do they let trespassers continue to trespass on someone else's property because they're part of a "family"? No, No, No and No.

    US immigration law has to be enforced to the letter and verse, and Americans must elect members of Congress, Governors, Mayors and Presidents who are unanimous on that subject. If Americans get bogged down with the pity and sob stories of people who aren't supposed to be here in the first place, then there will be no energy, time or money left to help our own people, which with $18 trillion in national debt already, it's abundantly clear we have no money left to help anyone, let alone illegal aliens who aren't supposed to be here in the first place or even new legal immigrants we don't want or need because we have no jobs or money for them either.

    We're busted. It's time to face that reality and stop this nonsense with all immigration, illegal and legal, and stop the insanity of acting like we're the nation with pots of gold at the end the rainbow, when there is no rainbow, let alone any pots of gold at the end of it.

    As to Mr. Martinez who has been here 26 years who already has multiple children and grandchildren born in this country, it's time for them to decide how important their "family" is and go to Mexico with him. Mexico is a nice country with an unemployment rate lower than ours. He knew before he had his first child in this country that he was under a deportation order, the law would make him leave, and he hid out in some little town in Missouri, as a fugitive acting like he belonged there, when he didn't, defying our laws and the will of our people, and of course, breeding. So instead of whining about being deported after 26 years, he should be thankful for the 26 years he had here.
    Last edited by Judy; 03-26-2015 at 12:11 AM.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
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