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Pending policies could lead to deportation leniency

A new movement to protect illegal immigrants from deportation if they do not have a criminal record may be taking hold in Texas in the coming months. The Department of Homeland Security is lending its official opinion to the practice of shielding immigrants from deportation if they do not have any evidence of moral turpitude. Immigration policy experts have already said that most of the deported immigrants were actually contributing to the nation's economy, unlike those few with serious criminal pasts.

A formal trend toward deporting only those immigrants identified as security threats may be in motion for the near future, as the change is currently being considered by President Obama. This could lead to additional protection for the tens of thousands of peaceable immigrants who are unjustly faced with the threat of deportation every year. Activists say that the immigrants should truly be evaluated to determine whether their criminal history would lead to further issues in the U.S. before they are shipped away.

About 45 percent of immigrants deported in the last year had only committed immigration offenses such as failing to comply with deportation orders. The remainder had some felonies and misdemeanors, though most of the misdemeanors could be considered minor violations. Instead of spending money and time deporting those with only insignificant criminal histories, officials are being urged to focus on those people who could actually threaten the safety of the American public.

Immigrants with only minor criminal histories could soon be benefiting from policy changes that originate in the highest levels of American politics. These immigrants deserve a fair chance to ply their skills and wares in the U.S., especially if they are contributing to society in a positive way. Everyone should have a fair shot at the American dream, and this legislation could help ensure that trustworthy immigrants get to stay in our nation.

Source: KETK, "U.S. looks into shielding illegal immigrants with no criminal background from deportation" Marlena Hamilton, Apr. 23, 2014

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