DHS to Review the Removal Cases in Immigration Court

November 18, 2011

It is clear that the federal government does not have the resources or time to try every immigration removal case in immigration court.  This week the Obama Administration emphasized that every removal case will be reviewed to determine whether the alien is a criminal or security threat. This is good news to non-criminal aliens.

DHS memos released this week reinforce the policy that ICE agents should use prosecutorial discretion and focus on criminal aliens for removal.  It appears that noncriminal out-of-status aliens will most likely be left alone as per the July 2011 Moton memo.

It is the intention of the Obama Administration to bring undocumented aliens "out of the shadows" through the institution of comprehensive immigration reform. This policy that focuses removal efforts on criminal aliens appears to be the administration's way to protect noncriminal aliens until the U.S. Congress can pass much needed comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

From a DHS memo released yesterday:
“Through smart and effective immigration enforcement, this Administration remains committed to prioritizing immigration enforcement resources to target criminal aliens and those who put public safety at risk, as well as those who threaten border security or the integrity of the immigration system. To address the challenge of an over-crowded immigration court system, and better utilize existing resources, there is an on-going Administration-wide effort to focus immigration enforcement resources on those convicted of crimes, recent border crossers, and egregious immigration law violators. To further these efforts, the Administration is considering, on a case-by-case basis, whether to pursue certain cases that fall outside these priorities, as pursuit of such cases diverts resources from our enforcement priorities and strains the limited resources of immigration courts.

As part of these efforts, beginning today, ICE attorneys will review all incoming and certain pending cases to ensure they conform with ICE’s civil immigration enforcement priorities. Beginning December 4, DHS and DOJ will launch a six-week pilot program in two jurisdictions to test run the process for reviewing cases currently pending in immigration court. This review of incoming and pending cases will be based on the June 17th Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum and guided by a set of more focused criteria. In support of these efforts, ICE has also launched a comprehensive training program on the appropriate use of the June 17th Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum.”

Read all of the DHS memos released this week:


the teacher said...

While I am for immigration reform, I do not expect a widespread offer of green cards or paths to citizenship for a long long time due to the US economy and unemployment situation, which will worsen.

We can expect more restrictions for guest workers, aid to the third world to be reduced, and a general return to a more protectionist society. That is what a future version of the Tea Party or Occupy may demand.

If immigration reform comes for the millions in the US, it will morph into more hoops to jump through than the dream Act had and it will be a long series of conditions that last a decade or more.

Americans are not in favor of a broad bill so individual applicants may apply and plead the merits of their case on an ongoing basis now.

And I'm surprized more in the CNMI haven't done that already. If I were a long time guest worker in the CNMI, I would get my financials, marriage, tax, and work records together and apply, with or without an attorney, although I would advise using one.

I don't see how Parole in Place will help anyone as it's not a status. If the answer is to seek work or wait for the Congress to act...please keep the story real, as that seems like a worse strategy than cardboard signs saying "please help us".

I would say please help yourself. If you are in fact a long time worker with a clean work and criminal record, no history of immigration fraud; then I would take my case and apply based on my years working legally in the US. I wouldn't ask to apply free, and I would boldy state my case of working in America based on it;s own individual merits. It is not a group case anymore...in is an individual one.

Anonymous said...

The whole problem here is not if they will be deported right away, it is if they stay, without any job or status they become non compliant and "Illegal".
This means that even if any jobless find a job, they will not be able to qualify for the CW or other status to work legally.

The others that will be affected is the spouses of the US Cit.(among others)
So now what is the answer?

I would think that there would have to be another amendment added to Kilili's bill to cover the ones that would fall under that bill.
This would most likely cause much more delays if it could not be added prior to the vote.
Now what is the interim solution for the rest?

Another thing,just what would happen to the "stateless" persons that have been in limbo for so many years now. How would they travel and to where? They have no passport etc. They had also never been out of the NMI.

Wendy Doromal said...

2:42 Some good comments. What people are not getting is that many foreign workers do not have the money to pay for airfare for themselves and family members. Why? Because many of their latest or past employers owe them big bucks and the CNMI Tax and Revenue has failed to give many of them their tax refunds or stimulus checks from years past. (Is this because the employers deducted $$ from the workers but did not pay Tax and Revenue, or because the office does not have the money and figures rip off the aliens because they could disappear anyway?) even those who had a job up until days ago, have not saved enough to pay for airfare with the cost of living on Saipan, Rota and Tinian and the ridiculously low pay. It is rather cruel and perhaps ignorant, to keep telling these people who make only enough money to survive to "make plans", "buy tickets" and other such advice.

The US Congress failed all of the legal long-term workers, the CNMI permanent residents, the widows and widowers of deceased US Citizens and other categories who will be out of status on November 28 (My granddaughter's birthday) Kilili's bill is a politically motivated attempt at tossing a crumb. The majority will be harmed (he does NOT care about the 12,000 he left out, as he told Rabby and me when we met last month) if it passes or is not amended. Where are the statesmen?

Whatever happens, if the US does not act to stay the status of the legal, long-term foreign workers; if it does not stop this humanitarian tragedy; if it does not do the right thing it will create a huge international backlash that will be recorded in history in large font, boldfaced type. I am an inch away from getting the international press engaged. It is time to pull out the aces.

Anonymous said...

The international community has there own problems, read the papers and watch CNN. You mean the Pinoy press??? Sure they might be concerned but if you think the international community at large will be taken aback by what is happening here I don't see it in today's enviorment. That is the reality of what is happening in the U.S., Europe, most of first world Asia there are serious problems in those countries and areas of the world.... the usual suspects, Amnesty Int, et al would be outraged but even NPR is saying, ' no one here is really interested as it stands' that is the response and will be even if several hundred or even thousands of "out of status, jobless foreigners" go back. No matter the uproad here most Americans will say 'hey I got my own problems looking for a job!'

Wendy Doromal said...

Ron, please stop saying, "Americans are not in favor of a broad bill." It just is not true. I know very few people who object to 16,000 LEGAL, long-term workers having permanent residency and the ones I can think of ALL live in the CNMI. Mainland Americans hearing the story of the CNMI's longterm, legal foreign workers would welcome them. Are you drunk on Kilili kool-aid? That is one of his excuses for not doing the right thing in his bill. His bill tosses a crumb to the 4,000 foreign workers who will someday vote and have relatives who can vote now, while screwing 12,000 equally deserving workers. The real reason he left out 12,000 (and no it is not because he "can't help everyone." He sure as hell could.) It is not because the bill would not pass if they were included (we are talking 16,000 LEGAL aliens). It is because he is thinking of what is best for his own re-election.

Ron, do you even know what Occupy would demand? Where do you come up with these statements? I know personally dozens of Occupy folks and they are progressive, forward thinking and compassionate. They would never support "more restrictions for guest workers, aid to the third world to be reduced, and a general return to a more protectionist society."

Keep the story real? Ron it can't get any more real than the US screwing 16,000 legal, long-term foreign workers by their inaction, delays and lack of foresight in creating a CW program, which is doomed to fail.

Stop the fiction about the unemployment rate and Americans not wanting 16,000 legal guest workers to be upgraded to permanent residency. Please read what is happening in Alabama as a result of the anti-immigrant law there. Crops are rotting in the fields and the economy is crashing because illegal (and some legal) aliens, the underground employed and the legally employed who do America's dirty work that no American will do, are fleeing the state.

If a desperate foreign worker wants to hold a cardboard sign saying "Please help us" I say go for it. Maybe someone will read it and help. Maybe some people will pass by and drop off some water or food. Maybe some attorneys will step up and help them collect their back pay and back tax refunds. Maybe someone will demand reform and someone will listen. It is better to try then to sit down in a corner and cry.

Wendy Doromal said...

9:49 You are incorrect. I am in touch with people who ARE interested.

the teacher said...

No, i'm not drunk on cool aid, but I could use one after learning that HR-1466 will not be voted on before break...meaning if parole in place is granted until the end of Jan., it will still have little or no chance to help the parents of thousands of US citizen children in the CNMI, and that's the "real' story.

Anonymous said...

Ron is correct.

He's right to say that "most Americans". Not sure what you're talking about Wendy. You may have spoken with a few people but generally speaking most Americans want our Government to take care of it's own at this time. At just below 40% Obama's dismal poll numbers reflect how "most Americans" feel. The "occupy" movement are not all progressive Liberals by any means. They are against mainstream Liberals and Conservatives. In fact, the occupy Wall Street group brought Pelosi and Miller's inside information scandal to light. This is where the two top Champions of Liberalism bought and sold stocks during the financial crisis. They and others were privy to inside information that the general public did not have. This is the tip of the iceberg.

Anonymous said...

What the 99% want isn't to get rid of aliens.

Wendy Doromal said...

Ron 3:42
What's real is that the US screwed ALL of the 16,000 legal long-term foreign workers by delays, inaction, excuses and a gridlocked Congress. HR 1466 does not even apply to the majority of the foreign workers or 12,000 people. It proposes an un-American CNMI-only status with restriction of travel and disenfranchisement (status quo) for the 1/4 it would cover. Why the concentration on parents of children with US citizens? What about the parents living there with their children who were born in the Philippines, Japan or Korea? Why are those children and families less important? Why not advocate for ALL people. Why wasn't a decent bill introduced in May 2010 when it actually could have passed? Ask your delegate -he knows. That is the reality. I said months ago that HR 1466 would not pass. (Now it needs to be re-written. Hope they get it right this time.) The US officials knew that and what have they done? A big nothing. They need to get it together now.

Wendy Doromal said...

3:42 I have spoken to dozens of Occupy supporters and attended gatherings. I also read every day. Google what they stand for. One thing that they stand for is the truth. If "progressives" are "untruthful" or corrupt why shouldn't they be exposed?

the teacher said...

"Ron 3:42"

Was that answer to me or to 3:42? As I didn't write comment 3:42.

Most Americans are against improved status and citizenship for aliens at this time. The high rate of unemployment and other economic factors have undoubtably swelled support against it. Those of us who support immigration must realize and understand that to pass legislation in this area, compromise will be the only hope for success. Compromise would likely mean alot of requirements, hoops, and red tape.

I don’t give legal advice but if I were a guest worker seeking permanent residency status, I can say what I might do.

I would get my financial documents in order including tax records, bank account information, check stubs, and include any periods of EMPLOYER NON-PAYMENT with the employer of record and include specific judgments and evidence of the facts in that case. I would include a current asset statement and other relevant financial information.

I would document my work history and employment record in grave detail including projects I contributed to, achievements, and work experience gained, employee awards, and education acquired plus skills learned and include language proficiencies. I would add my attendance records, letters of recommendation, commendations, licenses, certifications, and an explanation for lapses in employment. If I had legally worked in America for many years, I would boldly state that fact and provide evidence.

I would collect birth and death records for US citizen children, other children and their status in school. Include US citizen relatives, attachments to the community, marriage and divorce documentation, and other miscellaneous skills, contributions, and affiliations. I would have record of police clearances here and country of origin.

If I worked in the construction arena, I would show before and after pictures of jobs, details of the complications resolved during the project leading to the eventual success. If I were a newspaper writer I would include a portfolio of articles that have contributed to our community and the nation, including investigative reporting against corruption, especially exposing corrupt public officials, environmental issues uncovered or highlighted, international events articulated to the public, work that advanced education to the public, suggestions that contributed to cultural preservation, and historically records compiled or expanded on. I would also evidence talents in art, music, humanities, and records of charitable donations including time. I would include professional organizations, awards, and other recognitions as well.

I would prepare my full payment for fees in the form of a check, and I would make an appointment with a licensed attorney to discuss improvements, strategies, and problematic areas of my case and whether or not I needed legal representation present. Your council may also advise on the merits of applying before losing status.

I believe the CNMI was undeniably US soil prior to federalization. The US citizens born here the last generation are incontrovertible evidence of that matter. The quest for improved status in America is an individual one, and the merit of each person’s case is distinct.

Wendy Doromal said...

Ron 9:45 Good advice.

Anonymous said...

There are so many issues regarding construction skills and working in the United States. Someone told me that CW carpenters can go to the US and be carpenters, plumbers, heavy equipment operators, etc. This is simply not the case. There are so many variables to deal with. Unlike the CNMI these jobs are highly sought after by highly trained and skilled people. Have you ever seen a CNMI construction site? Too many bad habits that will get you fired anywhere in the US.

Anonymous said...

If that's “good advice”, no matter so many are so confused and hopeless.

The legal question is not whether the CNMI was “U.S. soil” prior to F-day, but whether the INA applied to a particular individual in the CNMI before 28 Nov 09. Unless the Eche decision is reversed by the Ninth Circuit, the answer is a resounding “No!”

Most people would be wasting their time preparing a “case” as blithely suggested by Ron. It would be more productive to advocate for humanitarian USAF airlift or apply for jobs in Canada, Taiwan, or the R.P.

Green Cards for All!

Wendy Doromal said...

Green Cards

I think it is good advice to get all arguments organized. I am pretty sure Ron is referring to the foreign workers applying for parole in place. At any rate it makes sense to start showing how much they have contributed and how they are de facto citizens. How does this hurt?

Anonymous said...

Where is Pamela Brown Labor Ombudsman? She has been silent since this controversy started and isn't even on island now in this critical time. Why has she abandoned us in our time of need?

Anonymous said...

parole in place isn't given because you did great work. you must show you are going to be eligible or are awaiting a status and visa. it does not apply to a vast majority of GW who are not being applied for by an employer. And no, awaiting your kid to turn 21 in five or more years ain't a reason to get parole in place, neither is hoping a bill can get calandered for a vote in one of the two chambers of Congress in what will be a contentious election year. Pam Brown?? what has she done since the real experts on immigration (DHS) arrived on island?? I am sure if you asked all those GW who went to her for help and still found themselves deported might have something to say about it. She has moved on now that she doesn't need the GW cause anymore..... listen people the day is coming and there is nothing left for you in the CNMI, sorry but find a place where you can make money. Time to realize the U.S. Government is tightening its purse strings and the freebies she has given out, especially here in the CNMI are going away.........

Anonymous said...

noni 9:47 there was never anything for the ocws in the nmi. it's a place to get cheated and bleed dry.it's only good for a stepping stone out of there to the mainland usa. It's filled up with racist and greedy people who will step on there own parents to get ahead. there's nothing left now except a pretty sunset. it's a dump. it sucks. it's poor. it's a ugly place now. someday all ocws will thank god we had to leave. adios nmi. nmi and all haters deserve back the evil you gave out. you will fail after all ocws go. you don't deserved the ocws.

Anonymous said...

not just pam brown left us. others like teacher and attorneys don't care.

Anonymous said...

Pamela Sue Brown is a metaphor for the OCWs in the CNMI. She had a high-profile career: long-time Senate Legal Counsel before Stephen C. Woodruff (who considered himself the self-styled “Tenth Senator”) working hand-in-hand with House Legal Counsel Maya B. Kara, partner in Long & Brown (plaintiff practice, including labor cases), local counsel in the ground-breaking garment class action (which made her fortune), first Interior Labor Ombudsman, Governor's Legal Counsel (“Babauta's brain”), CNMI Attorney General (helping husband Mark Blackburn's Seafix achieve peak financial success as the Pretty Darn Good economy peaked), private practice again (trying to bring Indochinese trafficking victims to the CNMI, and Ombudsperson redux.

Like the OCWs, her dreams were even greater than her many accomplishments, that literally made the CNMI what it is today. She was a stalwart progressive, hiring Edward T. Buckingham III (who had Obama campaign literature on his AGO office walls, in violation of the Hatch Act). She supported Tina Sablan (instrumental in Ed becoming AG). She could have succeeded Judge Munson (sharing similar philosophy & temperament) but was the wrong ethnicity.

So now she is moving on to new successes, not wallowing in what might have been or should have been. OCWs should hold their heads high and do the same.

the teacher said...

Green cards for all,

Tooche...I don't have your legal accumen so do u think eche's case has merit or what do you think his chances are in 9th circuit and could he appeal higher if he loses.

Anonymous said...

I do not think the arguments of Dr. Peter Eche and "Coach" Perry Lo are so helpful to guest workers because court-appointed pro bono Plaintiffs' counsel goes out of his way to distinguish between Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) previously designated as such by USCIS and guest workers admitted by the CNMI.

I have forwarded the briefs to Wendy so that, should she care to post them on her blog, you can see for yourself.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:26
Pam Brown worked in a legal firm named Long and Brown...... she was Babauta's Brain?
You do have a sense of humor!
By the way she shot down just about every potential law suit brought to her (2001 to 2005) with the comment it would cost the CNMI gov too much to sue. Well, look at what this administration has done with a law suit against LEO A. Daly..... they sued and were awarded a 10 million judgement over the new CHC Health Center addition. She walked away from that one when she was "Babauta's Brain" and a few others .

It's not your money! said...

I'd take Pam's brains, guts and integrity over Bucky's any day of the week.

Wendy Doromal said...

It's not your money! I agree 100%

Green Cards for All! said...


I actually think Dr. Eche and Mr. Lo have a fair chance of success on the merits. The case is about whether time in the CNMI for previously admitted non-IR LPRs counts as time in the U.S. for citizenship purposes.

Their strongest argument is the “plain language” of the CNRA, which talks about time before its enactment counting for such status. The reply brief stresses grammar; an English teacher would love it. Court-appointed pro bono counsel did an outstanding job on the Reply Brief.

The Reply also has a constitutional law argument about the 2009 Boumedienne Supreme Court case (about Guantanamo habeas) essentially modifying the Insular Cases for constitutional exceptions to the more rigorous “impractical and anomolous” standard. This would overrule the Ninth Circuit “fundamental right in the international sense” standard applied when the Ninth Circuit upheld Article XII in the 1989 Wabol decision.

But I don't think the court will or needs to reach the constitutional issue this time, as it can be determined in the plainiffs' favor simply as a matter of statutory construction.

Wendy Doromal said...

Teacher and Green Cards: I am reading over the briefs and will finish the post later. Between Nov 21 and November 28 three of my children and my granddaughter have birthdays (and there's Thanksgiving) so I am shopping, cooking, partying!

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your holidays. People and family (however broadly construed) are the important priorities in life!

The Eche briefing was only completed last month. No panel members or even oral argument date have been announced. No rush.

How about that Newt Gingrich on a GOP family-friendly immigration policy? Go Newt!

Happy Thanksgiving, CNMI! (Especially to my unemployed CW in-laws.)

Green Cards for All!

Wendy Doromal said...

1:36 Happy Thanksgiving to your and your family. Thank you for all of your understanding, support and assistance.

About Newt - I read that this morning! Wow!

the teacher said...

Thanks Green Cards.

Newt is a politician and he is trying to reel in voters that are now considered Democrats...nothing more or less.