A few months ago, the Obama administration announced in a memo that it could prioritize deportation cases to focus scarce resources on criminals. And then last month, DHS announced that it would suspend the deportations of those who fit the low priority category (meaning DREAMers). Just because changes are announced doesn’t necessarily mean that the implementation of those changes and revised guidelines will correspond to how agents implement things on the ground, as DREAMer Matias Ramos found out in recent weeks. A few weeks ago, Ramos found himself in deportation proceedings and monitored with an electronic bracelet. Nearing the last minute before he was to leave the country, ICE did have Ramos’ bracelet removed.
As reported by American University Public Radio:
“During a national conference call, activists who represent young undocumented immigrants say many local ICE offices are not following the memo from DHS boss Janet Napolitano dated June 17th . They say removal proceedings against young people eligible for the DREAM act continue. This is the same charge that was made by CASA de Maryland protesters during a rally outside DHS headquarters on Wednesday.
ICE says its prosecutors have been given the discretion to prioritize deportation cases. A young man narrowly escapes deportation but as Armando Trull reports activists are claiming he may be in the minority.”
The Department of Homeland Security needs to tighten up its processes and have more accountability. For over two years, there have been various reports of ICE agents “going rogue”. Focusing efforts on removing people who are not supposed to be targeted doesn’t reflect well on the organization.
Compounding the DREAMer situation are reports of an immigration raid that took place in July on the grounds of a Catholic Church in Detroit. These kinds of situations won’t play well with pro-migrant voters as Obama begins to campaign in earnest.