DHS to Review 300,000 Deportation Cases

August 19, 2011

The Department of Homeland Security announced changes in deportation procedures. Immigration reformists view the changes as a positive step in promoting secure, just and humane immigration policies. 

DHS will be reviewing 300,000 deportation cases on a one-by-one basis to determine which cases represent "high priority" criminals that provide a threat to the United States. Other cases determined to be "low priority" cases will be removed from the case log, and immigrants facing deportation with no criminal records will have the possibility to get work permits.

From Reform Immigration for America:
The 10 Things You Should Know about DHS's Announcement 
All 300,000 cases currently in deportation proceedings will be reviewed by senior DHS officials. Immigration judges and ICE trial attorneys will also be reviewing their cases on a daily and weekly basis to make sure that any case that goes forward is consistent with DHS enforcement prioirities

The announcement is about deportation cases only. This announcement is DHS's attempt to "unclog" the deportation case log by removing "low-priority" cases in order to focus on individuals who pose serious dangers to our communities and our country.

"High-priority" individuals include, but are not limited to, those who pose a serious threat to national security, are serious felons and repeat offenders, are known gang members, or have a record of repeated immigration violations.

"Low-priority" individuals include, but are not limited to, veterans; long-time, lawful residents; DREAMers and others brought to the US as children; pregnant women; victims of domestic abuse and other serious crimes; and spouses, including LGBT spouses.

Individuals in deportation proceedings who are deemed "low-priority" will get a letter from DHS stating their case has been administratively "closed".

Those whose cases are closed can apply for a work permit program. Decisions about work permits will be made on a case-by-case basis. Undocumented immigrants not in deportation proceedings cannot seek work permits.

Individuals SHOULD NOT attempt to be placed in deportation proceedings in order to apply for a work permit.

While these changes do not directly benefit non-criminal, undocumented immigrants who are not in deportation proceedings, if implemented properly, these individuals will not be placed into deportation proceedings in the first place.

The announcement does not change programs such as 287g and Secure Communities.

This is not "back-door amnesty" as our opponents will claim. This is a procedural change in the implementation of DHS's enforcement policies to target only those who pose serious threats to the US and those with long criminal records.


Anonymous said...

Great, so what happens in ten years when they've 'investigated' each one of those 300,000 ILLEGAL aliens that are breaking Federal Law? What happens to the dangerous illegals? Dems gonna hire another 10,000 Federal workers? Whatever chances Obama had on getting reelected just disappeared.

Anonymous said...

This is shockingly sane. Of course, in immigration policy, anything sane is politically suicidal. (See as an example the comment preceding mine.) Next step will be work permits for the undocumented people not in deportation proceedings. Though given the current state of the US labor economy, a US work permit is not the goldmine it once was.

the teacher said...

Back door amnesty isn't the worst deal and the Democratic leadership has advanced the immigration reform issue. As for Kilili's bill. although it seems unconstitutional (people advantaged due to marriage or having children),and omits some disserving people but everyone knows the CNMI doesn’t have work or jobs for our population. Supply and demand dictates that our population will continue to decline. This bill protects thousands of US citizen children from deportation, and for that reason alone I strongly support this legislation. Stand in front of your mirror and ask yourself, would we really want to be the community that deported the children? Or who among us would want to continue living in a place that banished our own home grown children abroad.

Anonymous said...

Dear teacher, Why do you and Rep. Sablan think U.S. citizen kids deserve more then alien kids? Way more families will be hurt because of his bill then helped. You look in the mirror and ask yourself would you like to deport kids and families because that is what his bill will do! Think of what you can say to the alien kids in your class you say should be sacrificed with there family because they aren't U.S. The reason to pass this bad bill because there aren't enough jobs is wrong because CWs that are given freedom can leave if there's no job. Who do you say I leave with my kids but some who stay here less years can stay?

Anonymous said...

U.S. Citizen kids don't deserve more than alien kids, they just need to get what they deserve from the country where they are citizens. The U.S. cannot be the nanny for all of the world's children.

Anonymous said...

Kilili's bill won't deport anybody. It gives improved immigration status (CNMI only) to some, not all. If there are 10 drowning people, and I save the one I have the best chance of saving, have I drowned the other nine?

Anonymous said...


Well said. But longstanding federal policy is to deport undocumented alien parents with no regard to whether they have U.S. citizen children. Should the alien parents in the CNMI be given preferential treatment over alien parents in the U.S. If so, why?

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 1:44, 1:45 and 1:53 (same person)

I feel sorry for you. Children should not be viewed by their nationality. Every child is precious and should be regarded as a child of our own in how they are treated. Where a person is born is an accident of birth, where they live is a choice (made by their parents for their well-being) and how the United States of America regards and treats them displays the moral conscience of our nation. In this case, there is no moral or just foundation, rather a hateful, discriminatory slap to equally deserving 12,000 LEGAL, long-term foreign workers and their own families who were deliberately and cruelly left out of this bill. This bill is not a bill that should be adopted by the U.S. in 2011. Spin it anyway you want to, it is a shameful and hurtful bill that is mean-spirited, un-American and undemocratic.

The DREAM Act, which passed the U.S. House and has been introduced several times, aims to give alien children a pathway to citizenship. The immigration reform bill that was re-introduced in July 2011 proposes to give UNDOCUMENTED (ILLEGAL) aliens a pathway to citizenship. Look at U.S. immigration reform bills that would grant permanent residency to UNDOCUMENTED aliens and you will see Sablan's signature on them! Sablan and his Hispanic and Asian Pacific Caucus-buddy co-sponsors think that LEGAL, long-term foreign workers in the CNMI on UNITED STATES soil, deserve LESS than UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS in the U.S. mainland! The intent of U.S. P.L. 110-229 was to align the CNMI with U.S. laws, not to create separate CNMI-only laws. Please read it again.

You are wrong. Congressman Sablan's bill absolutely will result in thousands of legal, long-term foreign workers (and their children who were not born on U.S. soil) being deported. He knows this. He is a coward by refusing to publicly acknowledge and respond to this. He decided to pick who to save by drafting a discriminatory bill that smacks of racism and mirrors the un-American Black Codes of the post-Civil War era. Some have suggested that this is a politically motivated decision based on who voted for him in the last election. What other reason is there? He has given no explanation.

You said: If there are 10 drowning people, and I save the one I have the best chance of saving, have I drowned the other nine? Absolutely, if you could have saved ALL, and decided to save ONLY one, than you must answer for such a very wrong decision that will result in immense hardship and suffering for those left out of the boat. Sablan CAN and SHOULD include ALL, LEGAL, LONG-TERM, FOREIGN WORKERS rather than ONLY those with a U.S. citizen family member. This is not a life boat we are talking about, it is an empty ocean liner. Yes, absolutely, every equally deserving foreign worker can and should be protected and given permanent residency status, not some un-American CNMI-only status.

Sablan may be able to spin this bill to a population that is self-centered, separatist and has a "special CNMI-only circumstances" mentality, but it's not going to be acceptable to the American public, immigration groups or any member of Congress with a conscience. Who will take the heat for this bill? The co-sponsors who are members of the congressional Hispanic, Asian American and Black Caucuses who define themselves as nondiscriminatory and pro-immigration reformists, yet co-sponsored a discriminatory and immensely harmful bill. When the press picks up on this (our letters get mailed next week and calls start the following week) the co-sponsors will have to explain their two-faced, hypocritical action to their constituents and the people who viewed them as champions for immigration reform.

Anonymous said...

In the real world, there are countries and borders, and children's rights are determined by which ones they are born in and citizens of. Platitudes don't feed the hungry ones or prevent their parents from being deported. Kilili's bills will do both.

Anonymous said...

Kilili is coward. He like to push this Bill down the throat of blind but 2-sided co-sponsors. Kilili......EXPLAIN why you have chosen a few though you can do better than this. You are CNMI's delegate and not by few people that somehow influenced you to author this Bll. Aaaahhhhh.....politics...politics....

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 9:02

In a REAL SPIRITUAL world people care about each other regardless of birthplace, race, or nationality. Because of borders and boundaries children starve and die every day in your real world. Human rights and children's rights are universal rights. Caring people support all children and families, regardless of where they live.

Are you saying that 12,000 people who have lived and worked and contributed to the good of the CNMI are meaningless because of where they were born; because they have no U.S. citizen relative? Some have been in the CNMI legally for 30 plus years and Congressman Sablan and other people pretend they don't exist or are less than human. Look around you! These are your neighbors, co-workers, community volunteers, fellow church members. These are full members of the community, de facto citizens! Some have lived longer in the CNMI than young people who were born after the 1980s!

Congressman Sablan's bill screws 12,000 LEGAL, long-term foreign workers and their innocent children. He needs to stop the lie about keeping families together. He needs to tell the truth! To him it's about keeping SELECT families together -those with a vote or potential vote!

Anonymous said...

Wendy said: "Children should not be viewed by their nationality."

But you do that constantly. First of all these people are Filipino Citizens. They hold a Philippine passport. They are part of another country Wendy. They don't need a pathway to US Citizenship they are already Citizens!

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 3:55 What are you talking about? Do you even have a clue about the larger conversation or do you just dissect it by bits? Filipino children who are living with legal, long-term foreign parents deserve protection just as the U.S. citizen children of foreign workers do.

Anonymous said...

Once the backlog has been worked through ...

Anonymous said...

stole this from another commenter. it is a great idea. not a bad thing or a way to stick it to anyone, just a way to open up everyone's eyes (both local and mainlander) to how vitally important ALL contract workers that are presently in the CNMI are. this can be done. it would make everyone in the community cry out to Washington to grant ALL workers status:

"I wish the guest worker groups would gather together and do a Thursday Friday sick day. If all contract workers called in sick on a back to back Thursday - Friday can you imagine the impact it would have on the CNMI? Would the papers get printed? I know a few businesses that would be unable to function at all. Imagine 2 days without contracted guest workers.

The hope of such an effort would be to send a message to both local leaders and to Washington. Let the world know what impact the guest workers truly have on the economy of the CNMI.

Kilili is attempting to "save" a handful with kids and spouses that are US Citizens. Let us not gloss over the true impact of what could happen if all guest workers were sent packing on November 27, 2011.

Come on Rabby, Wendy, and all other group leaders, call for a couple sick days. You need at least 80% to hold their ground and call in sick for it to be effective. Entire restaurants would come to a halt. Hotels would be hit hard. Stores would be impacted. Construction would stop.

Follow this up with a strong request to local and federal leaders to implement a pathway to citizenship and do what is right."

Anonymous said...

While I am not disagreeing with this, the same could be said and done in the US by the illegals and that also would have a big impact.
Does anyone think that the US Congress would even notice, even if this was noticed by CNN or the Washington Post etc.
It definitely would have a big impact in the NMI and many of these people that are calling for the ouster of the workers and claiming that the locals are capable to take over all of the jobs if these workers leave.
It may make people more aware in the NMI.
I doubt though that any of these workers would be able or willing to take this action.
At any rate, call it a "sick out" as many in other areas have done.
I would like to see this.

Anonymous said...

Such a sick-out would be useless. The people of the CNMI are already well aware of the vital role contract workers play in the CNMI economy.

It was the U.S. Congress that unilaterally decided to phase out the CNMI's guest workers, without any sort of prior economic study and without the CNMI even having a seat at the table in the halls of Congress!

Unity Marchers --

“Federalization: You asked for it; you got it.”

Wendy Doromal said...

I think a sick out is a very effective tool for action and sends a clear message. Could it be organized? That is very doubtful since there are so many employers that are already NOT paying the proper wages to employees and threatening if they "tell" or "complain" they will not have any job. With jobs so scarce, would many be willing to participate in a sick out? Under the current system, foreign workers remain at a great disadvantage. What CNMI or federal agency has prosecuted Tinian Dynasty or the Rota Hotel managers and employers for nonpayment of wages? None! Why have the nurses not received their wages? There is a lack of prosecution and consequences for theft of wages in the CNMI and there always has been. Nothing will EVER change until the criminal employers who steal wages are put behind bars and the money owed to the cheated workers is awarded to them.

Anonymous said...

Noni 2am,

i demanded federalization and damn right i got it! :)

the end to the cnmi guest worker system was very much needed. the reliance on bringing in cheap foreign workers at will with no checks and balances needed to be stopped. bringing in people on a year to year basis for 20 years was sickening and should have never been allowed. tieing them to one employer who held all the cards was very much akin to indentured servitude. that system is over. not because the cnmi did the right thing but because of federalization. you are a moron for thinking that that system was worth keeping in play. you are a bigger moron for mixing federalization with meaning that all current long term workers must leave. that never was the only option and in the past in similar areas (such as VI) that was not what happened. these guest workers are now (do to our own doing not federalization) part of our community. we can not bring in any more but we can do what is right by the ones that are here. do you understand? or is the problem not comprehension but ignorance? i think the latter applies with you.

now that we have shut that open hole of abuse (thanks to federalization) we need to recognize that the current long term guest workers that WE brought in are treated right and humanely. they have been out here for years some more than 20 years. they NEED to be given status! that is not negotiable and they should not be in this situation. they need to SICK OUT immediately so that our community as a whole recognizes how ingrained these long term workers are in our community. they need to SICK OUT so that WE AS A WHOLE COMMUNITY can do what we should have been doing for the last 2 years and asking the feds to grant them ALL status.

people like noni 2am are very few. they are the ones that got fat off of the cnmi guest worker system. they abused workers, they bribed employers, they walked into massage houses in the middle of the night and took advantage of guest worker masseuses, they got kickbacks at labor department, they demeaned guest workers and treated them like slaves, they didn't being in to fill gaps they replaced local labor ,they did so much more harm.


Anonymous said...


maybe it is possible. the current guest workers perhaps can be fired but they can no longer be deported by mean bosses. they are on a short string right now with november around the corner. all of them have short contracts that end on novemeber. if they have anything to fear it is no longer their employers it is the feds not doing the right thing and granting status or their bosses not speaking up and asking for it. they need to sick out. they need to unequivocally show the island how much a part of this community and economy they are.

Anonymous said...

Along the same lines, the local workers are too scared to make any moves against this Administration because of the consequences in regards to their Govt. jobs.
This is how this electorate has been keeping power and running over the people for decades.
That is also why none of the elected want a decent wage in the private sector along with the loss of CW.
If the Govt workforce was cut then there would not be enough votes to keep them in office.

the teacher said...

I don't think a sick day, strike, or day of sacrafice is a new idea and 80% support would be unlikely. It could backfire as a small town(or island) threat to the US Congress. The sate of Florida couldn't operate with foreign labor in the hospitality industry, couldn't feed themselves without them, and couldn't possibly take care of their aged population with them either.

And I am a Dream Act supporter and a longtime supporter of the Democratic stance on immigration reform.

Wendy Doromal said...

I support a sick out. As I said, I am unsure if the foreign workers do or would participate. Now is the time to scream, yet astonishingly most are quiet!

I think a sick out would send a very strong message and those that say it wouldn't say that because they want to persuade the workers not to participate so that message won't be sent. The message to DC is to do the right thing now. It's time to grant these people permanent residency status. The message to people of the CNMI is that the community cannot function without these people. It is far past time to support them and embrace them as full community members.

Anonymous 1:18, you are correct in what you say. If the workers could organize a sick out with huge participation it would rock the islands and take them out of their invisible state. Questions remain. Can they afford to miss two days of pay? Most are hungry right now with cut hours, cut pay and cut benefits. I hope if you are in the CNMI you will help organize it. I hope that people of conscience would support them by providing meals. Most of all I hope the foreign workers start taking a stand -whether it is to have a sick out, have a huge rally, start writing letters, start speaking out in public and to the national press (I can arrange this.) BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. It is almost too late and as much as everyone who supports them and cares for them wants to help, there comes a point when people must stand up and help themselves, defend themselves and demand rights or those rights will slip out of reach.

Anonymous said...

Ha. The Feds haven't stopped abuse anywhere. There are still over six thousand illegal sweatshops in NYC alone. On one hand you had the Unity Marchers whispering tall tales about how the Feds will grant Green Cards because 'it's the right thing to do' and so on. The other side the Feds said no way. This has been a bizarre show to say the least. When someone states the facts about Federal takeover, the Unity Marchers, Wendy jump on it and deny the truth. The truth is, come November 2011 you had better be a highly educated, highly skilled, employable CW with MONEY in the bank. If you don't it won't be the deporting you, that's right - that's the Federal Government's job.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 3:47 The message of the Unity March was justice, reform (end the CNMI labor and immigration system) and permanent residency. Who said it was an end-all march? We are still fighting! The truth is that you don't know what will come November. Maybe the U.S. Congress will finally do the right thing by the LEGAL, LONG-TERM FOREIGN RESIDENT WORKERS and grant them permanent residency. If not, they will go down in history for unjust inaction that will reap intense suffering and injustice.

Green Cards for All! said...

Wendy, here are three primary sources for this important blog post of yours:

Thursday, 18 August 2011 post on the White House Blog entitled “Immigration Update: Maximizing Public Safety and Better Focusing Resources”

DHS Secretary Napolitano’s letter to Senator Durbin dated Thursday, 18 August 2011 [posted on secondary-source website].

ICE Director Morton’s prosecutorial discretion memo dated Friday, 17 June 2011.

It could be said that the big mistake made by the Unity Marchers was the same one indulged in by Abramoff -- staking a movement on the fortunes of a partisan political element. For the CNMI it was Tom “The Hammer” DeLay and his band of hyper-partisan Republicans. For the Unity Marchers it seems to have been Nancy Pelosi and the Unionizing “Politics of Envy”.

We shall see what is the outcome of hitching one's wagon (or star) to such a narrow interest group, rather than the incremental broader coalitions advocated by Kilili.

Work your heart out, indulge in a “general strike,” but I feel the die was cast by embracing vindictiveness during the days of George Miller, Allen P. Stayman, and David Barrett Cohen. No good can ever come of adopting evil tactics.

Sadly, it is our hard-working guest workers who have suffered and will continue to suffer the consequences of such decisions, not those blithely and jubilantly marching at the head of the parade.

Anonymous said...

noni 9:07am,

rewrite history all you want. the unity march was a call to end the abusive guest worker treatment and at the time Cinta Kaipat had passed a bill that forced EACH AND EVERY guest worker (no matter how long they had been in the CNMI or any other circumstances) to be repatriated for a period of no less than 6 months. the unity march was adamantly opposed to the passage of that bill.

the CNMI had no power to grant citizenship to people that had been in the CNMI for 10, 20, 30 years. the Feds did and do. so many also used the march to request that once federal immigration applied that long term workers get a pathway to citizenship. not a far fetched idea at all considering it has occurred in other jurisdictions where US immigration engulfed a local system.

noni 9:07am, you are a louse on the moist teabag of shrew.

Wendy Doromal said...

Hello Green Cards for All

The Unity March was not speaking to any political party and was in no way like the Abramoff lobbying scheme. I was one of the persons who conceived the idea of a march so I certainly know the purpose. I have the emails from the Fall of 2007 between me and the Human Dignity Movement leaders and others where we were discussing the move to end PL 15-108, push for the passage of the federalization bill and permanent residency status by way of a large scale march. There is no mention of political affiliation in any of them. We were not speaking to Nancy Pelosi or any one politician in Washington, DC, but speaking to all leaders with the power to create lasting reform and provide justice for the LEGAL, LONG-TERM FOREIGN RESIDENT WORKERS. In fact, the bill that became P.L. 110-229 passed almost unopposed. President George Bush signed it and he was not even of the same political party as Nancy Pelosi, but was aligned with Abramoff and DeLay!

Although I respect Congressman Sablan, H.R. 1466 is horrible for every reason I have stated repeatedly on this site, in my written testimony, and in letters to co-sponsors. Every attorney and human rights group that I have spoken to agrees that it is a flashback to post-Civil War times and should not even be considered. It must be substituted with a just and democratic bill. Now that some of the 12,000 legal foreign workers who were left out of the bill are also protesting to members of Congress, we may have a chance to get decent status.

You said, "Work your heart out, indulge in a “general strike,” but I feel the die was cast by embracing vindictiveness during the days of George Miller, Allen P. Stayman, and David Barrett Cohen. No good can ever come of adopting evil tactics." There is nothing vindictive or evil about wanting to end human and labor rights abuses, have one consistent federal immigration law, or working for just and democratic reform. George Miller is a champion for the foreign workers and justice and so are Allen Stayman and David Cohen!

Anonymous said...

Green Cars For All,

You are deeply distraught. You must have loved living in the CNMI when we had full control over immigration. You must have relished the sense of control and authority it gave you over the guest workers of the island and the few unlucky enough to work directly for you. SO much power you had, huh? You were a god in the guest workers eyes, weren't you? You decided who could stay and who had to go. The guest workers on annual contracts never back-talked you, never complained when you made advances on them, never filed cases when you failed to pay them, huh? You loved the way you got attention from a few guest workers that wanted to remain in the NMI and saw you as one of the avenues to accomplish that... no matter how disgusting you were, huh?

I understand you all too well. I understand why you are so upset at Miller, Cohen, Stayman, the Unity Marchers, Wendy, and everyone else that toppled your disgusting house of cards. You have lost your power. You have lost your control.

Poor loser, NOT.

Anonymous said...

there will be no magic wand waved to confer a status on guest workers. If they are workign for a legitimate employer that employer will be able to apply for them under the CW visa. It will be valid most likely on a yearly basis up and till 2014. Then the CW visa will go away. If by then the workers have not found a non immigrant or immigrant visa classification they are qualified to obtain and have applied for it they will need to leave the CNMI. This is the intent of the CNRA. There is no magic spell that can or will be passed by Congress. I have been telling people since well before federalization to make a plan and be prepared to leave. Most have failed to listen to that and pin their hopes on the elusive dream that has been championed by many of their "advocates". They have done the CWs a disservice by giving them only the sunny version of this not the actual reality. Let's admit it there are thousands of foreign nationals living here that are not working but are taking advantage of a very limited number of social services. The wait here hoping that someday tehy will be made legal. Meanwhile the US citizens compete for these limited resources. To believe otherwise is to not understand the reality of the situation on this island. I challenge you to get off your couch and out from behind your computer and join me as I work among those of whom I speak every day.

Anonymous said...

Understand that immigration judges do not have discretion to close these cases. Once a case is filed before them they must act only on the facts presented in front of them. They can decide the DHS has not met their burden of proof but that is all. Only the DHS can decide to not seek prosecution of a case. What I hear from Washington is this will not affect those cases here in the CNMI. The intent of Congress in the CNRA is clearly stated and carries the weight of being law. The announcement of DHS does not carry the weight of being law but is only a policy. Policy is just an out, do as I say not as I do, they can and will continue to put people here in the CNMI in deport hearings and rely on the CNRA being law, they have congressional backing on this and the lawmakers who are watching the federalization are serious about seeing this mandate followed through........just watch...

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 9:57

You said, I have been telling people since well before federalization to make a plan and be prepared to leave. Most have failed to listen to that and pin their hopes on the elusive dream that has been championed by many of their "advocates". They have done the CWs a disservice by giving them only the sunny version of this not the actual reality.

This advocate has not promised elusive dreams, but worked for JUSTICE and to get permanent residency status for the LEGAL, long-term foreign resident workers who have MORE than earned it! If ILLEGAL aliens in the U.S. can be considered for STATUS why not LEGAL long-term foreign workers in the CNMI? It is a HUGE injustice to exclude 12,000 LEGAL long-term workers from H.R. 1466. There is nothing sunny about the CNMI -nothing sunny about the economy, nothing sunny about the racist excuses, nothing sunny about the discrimination, nothing sunny about the routine wage theft and abuses. FREE THE LEGAL, LONG-TERM RESIDENTS WORKERS ! By all means let them leave -let them leave with dignity and with green cards.

Anonymous said...

noni 9:57am,

you said, "Let's admit it there are thousands of foreign nationals living here that are not working but are taking advantage of a very limited number of social services."

what social services are foreigners taking advantage of?

you do not work among the foreign workers. you work among the other lice, such as fitial and his cohorts.