A plan that could affect as many as 17,000 detained immigrants will both free up the nations immigration courts and be consistent with ICE’s declared primary focus, immigrants with criminal records.
The Obama administration is beginning the process to release thousands of detained immigrants who can prove they have a potential path to US legal residency. The immigrants in question have entered the US illegally or overstayed their visa’s. The countries courts that are dedicated to Immigration are so overloaded that often a detainee may wait months or years for their case to be heard. ICE is proud to announce that currently ½ of all current deportations are due to being a convicted criminal, which is an all time high.
The plan would be to release the 17,000 immigrants under the new policy. If the INS turns down their application for legalization, ICE will resume deportation proceedings.
The number of immigrants currently being detained in the US has doubled in the last decade. The additional numbers have put a strain on the program on multiple fronts, housing, and immigration courts are stretched to the limits.