Entries in Deportations (3)


Romney Campaign on Immigration Stance: ‘Stay Tuned’

Mario Tama/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney is on the defense regarding his stance on the immigration issue. President Obama’s decision to stop deporting many of the children of illegal immigrants tapped into public sentiment and a key issue for a key voting bloc. Up to now, despite being asked several times about it, Romney has declined to say whether he would repeal the president’s executive order. Romney has just said he prefers a “long term measure.”

But the Romney campaign says they will have “a few more things…to say about immigration” at the candidate’s speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials or NALEO tomorrow in Orlando. It will be an important moment as both the president and his chief challenger will address the group.

During a conference call with campaign aides Wednesday, there was a hint Romney may introduce some new language or policy regarding immigration in his address. But the Romney campaign focus will remain, as ever, the economy, according to his aides.

“The governor has addressed immigration over the last few days on his bus tour,” Romney Campaign Policy Director Lanhee Chen said. “As you may also know he’s speaking to NALEO tomorrow in Orlando and we’ll have a few more things there to say about immigration, but I think the one thing we should think about when we think about immigration and is impact particularly in the Latino communities is to think about how this economy has really failed the Latino community. There are almost 3 million Hispanics who are unemployed today. The unemployment rate amongst Hispanics stands at 11 percent. These are just statistics how poorly the economy has been performing not just for Hispanics, but really for all Americans so those are statistics that this president simply can’t run from.”

The Republican National Committee rolled out a similar message this morning with a web video that argues the poor national economy disproportionately affects Latinos.  Tuesday evening in an interview, Romney also stressed that the president’s policies are hurting minorities.

When asked again for a preview of tomorrow’s speech or whether Romney may specify whether he would repeal the president’s measure, Romney aide Kristy Campbell also hinted there may be new information released.

“You will hear more from us kind of in the run up to preview the governor’s speech tomorrow,” Campbell said.

Chen said to “stay tuned” to Romney’s remarks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama’s Record-High Deportations Draw Hispanic Scorn

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The record-setting deportation of illegal immigrants under President Obama has drawn scorn from Hispanic Americans, despite recent administration efforts to temper the policy, according to a new Pew Hispanic Center study.

Fifty-nine percent of Latinos said they disapprove of the president’s approach to removing illegal immigrants, more than double the number who said they approved in Pew’s nationwide survey.

Among Latino registered voters, the sentiment was nearly as strong, with 52 percent disapproving of the Obama administration’s handling of deportations.

Since 2009, the annual average number of deportations has approached 400,000, according to the Department of Homeland Security. That’s double the annual average during President George W. Bush’s first term and 30 percent higher than the average when he left office.

Meanwhile, the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States has hit a decade low because of the down economy and stepped-up enforcement efforts.

The dynamic has drawn protests from immigrant rights advocates and some Obama supporters, particularly Hispanics, who make up 80 percent of the nation’s illegal immigrant population and 97 percent of deportees last year. Hispanics are also a key constituency for Obama’s re-election campaign.

The Pew study found ample confusion among Latinos about the administration’s policy both in terms of the increase in deportations since Obama took office and the recent implementation of greater prosecutorial discretion in non-criminal cases.

Forty-one percent of Latinos say they’re aware of the heightened deportations, 36 percent thought the numbers have been comparable to those under Bush, and 10 percent said they thought deportations had declined.

Pew did not explicitly measure attitudes toward Obama’s more “humane” approach to deportations announced in August, but experts say the relatively high disapproval of administration policy suggests that change is still not widely known.

Under the new approach, the Department of Homeland Security will review all 300,000 pending deportation cases and grant reprieves on a case-by-case basis to individuals who do not have criminal convictions. Only about 15,000 cases have been reviewed so far, officials say.

Meanwhile, the administration has instructed Immigration and Customs Enforcement lawyers to help filter out nonpriority deportation cases from flooding the already-congested immigration court system. Removal orders involving veterans, parents of U.S. citizen children, students and the elderly are increasingly being dropped.

Administration officials say the revised approach should alleviate concerns within the Hispanic community about Obama’s deportation policy and caution it will take time to implement. They also say leniency can only go so far under existing law.

“President Obama has been forceful about the need to fix the broken immigration system comprehensively so that it meets America’s economic and security needs, but he cannot change the laws by himself,” White House spokesman Luis Miranda said.

But whether Hispanic Americans will see and understand Obama’s policy changes -- and approve -- remains to be seen, Pew Hispanic Center associate director Mark Hugo Lopez said.

“We will continue to publish reports about how many unauthorized immigrants are in this country and likely will be asking in our next survey about the issue of immigration generally,” he said.

“We didn’t get into the prosecutorial discretion issue in this poll, we just asked more generally about how the Obama administration is handling deportations, and 59 percent of Latinos said they disapprove.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Obama Administration Will No Longer Deport Non-Criminal Aliens

Cecilia Muñoz, Director of White House Intergovernmental Affairs. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration announced Thursday it will no longer deport illegal immigrants who have not committed crimes inside the U.S.

While the administration has long sought to prioritize its immigration enforcement efforts to target criminal aliens, Thursday’s policy change takes that one step further with the promise to review more than 300,000 pending deportations on a case-by-case basis, and stay those that involve individuals who have not committed crimes.

The Department of Homeland Security will also no longer focus resources on apprehending and deporting non-criminals, including young people brought to the country illegally by their parents, veterans and the spouses of active-duty troops.

“It makes no sense to spend our enforcement resources on these low-priority cases when they could be used with more impact on others, including individuals who have been convicted of serious crimes,” Cecilia Munoz, director of intergovernmental affairs wrote in a White House blog post.

“This means more immigration enforcement pressure where it counts the most, and less where it doesn’t – that’s the smartest way to follow the law while we stay focused on working with the Congress to fix it.”

An administration official said a joint DOJ-DHS panel will apply a set of criteria to the pending cases, including a person’s criminal record, their ties and contributions to the community and their military service record.

The Obama administration has overseen a record number of deportations in each of the past three years.  In 2010, DHS deported roughly 400,000 immigrants – an all-time high.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio