TODAY, Thursday, August 18th the US Department of Homeland Security announced it will begin a thorough review of its pending deportation caseload to refocus its enforcement work on high priority individuals. DHS will now consider DREAM Act-eligible youths, relatives of veterans, and other individuals who are currently in the deportation process and who have no prior criminal convictions, non-threatening and will move to dismiss their cases and, on a per case basis, issue work permits. The following is a statement for Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA):
"After two and a half years of pressuring the Administration for key changes and one million deportations later, DHS inched a step closer to more humane, smart, and sensible immigration enforcement. If the process announced today is implemented, we believe hundreds of thousands of honest, hard-working families, including DREAM-eligible students, in deportation proceedings should have their cases stayed. Keeping millions in the darkness without immigration reform or administrative remedy, however, should ease no one's conscience or improve a failed immigration policy. Without necessary reforms such as the elimination of the "Secure Communities" (S-Comm) program, the updates announced today will remain nominal in comparison to the suffering our community is experiencing with the remaining uncertainty and the blind enforcement of our broken immigration laws.
We celebrate this victory as one gained with much effort and support from allies and community members. Nationwide, a vibrant outcry against S-Comm clearly described it as the lubricant that greases the wheels of the Obama deportation and detention machine. Lots of questions remain unanswered after today's announcement but we will be watching how swiftly specific cases in our community are resolved. It should be noted that a ray of sunshine does not substitute for a life in the shadows. We will continue our work until the president uses his executive discretion or we achieve long-lasting updates to our nation's immigration."