Pro-immigrant lawyers and activists are slamming the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for recently announced policy “changes” that they say will do nothing to improve the way illegal immigrants are being deported.
ICE director John Morton is saying he will give the department’s lawyers more decision-making options on what immigration cases to prioritize. He claims this will make an illegal immigrant arrested as a result of a minor violation less of a concern for ICE than someone convicted of a more serious one, like a sex crime.
Morton first made this announcement Thursday in San Diego, California, at the American Immigration Lawyers Association conference, and elaborated on it Friday in a teleconference with the national press.
During the teleconference, Morton promised that “improvements” would occur in his department to satisfy concerns raised by local governments, and “to have the most effective program we can.”
But Ezequiel Hernandez, a Phoenix-based immigration lawyer who attended the conference, wasn’t impressed by the director’s policy changes. Hernandez complained that ICE lawyers won’t actually have to follow Morton’s guidelines.
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