ICE officials provided a copy of a new policy memo dated Aug. 20 that instructs government attorneys to review the court cases of people with pending applications to adjust status based on their relation to a U.S. citizen. ICE estimates in the memo that the effort could affect up to 17,000 cases.
The Department of Homeland Security is systematically reviewing thousands of pending immigration cases and moving to dismiss those filed against suspected illegal immigrants who have no serious criminal records, according to several sources familiar with the efforts.
Opponents of illegal immigration were critical of the dismissals.
“They’ve made clear that they have no interest in enforcing immigration laws against people who are not convicted criminals,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for strict controls.
In a June 30 memo, ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton outlined the agency’s priorities, saying it had the capacity to remove about 400,000 illegal immigrants annually — about 4 percent of the estimated illegal immigrant population in the country. The memo outlines priorities for the detention and removal system, putting criminals and threats to national security at the top of the list.
We expect more cases terminations across the United States in the next several months.