Dear Mr. President,
We the undersigned are writing to express our profound disappointment for the lack of concern and action in addressing the growing crisis being caused by the aggressive deportations of parents of US citizen children enforced by this administration who has deported in only one year, the equivalent of what previous administrations have done in ten years. (Click here for report)
On June 17, 2011, the director of US ICE, John Morton, issued a memorandum directing officials to use discretion in deportation and removal cases. The memo, entitled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion Consistent with the Civil Immigration Enforcement Priorities of the Agency for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Aliens,” lists several mitigating factors to be considered when deciding who to deport including length of presence in the US, ties to the community, and whether the person has a US citizen spouse child or parent.
The memo further states that “deportation decisions must conform to the goal of ICE’s enforcement priorities.” Those priorities are listed as individuals who pose a threat to national security, serious felons, gang members, or persons with multiple immigration violations. The memo was followed up with an announcement by the White House on August 18, 2011, stating that “low priority cases will be kept from resulting in removal.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano detailed the changes on behalf of President Obama.
Yet, ICE and the U.S. Border Patrol continue to deport with impunity and in defiance of the Morton memo.
We call upon the administration to hold ICE accountable to the stated policy and make this issue an urgent priority. Furthermore, we would ask that an executive order be issued immediately to protect families and children from these aggressive enforcement tactics. Mr. President, if you want to move FORWARD, you need to stop the family separation NOW.
The Mexican-American Coalition