NCLR Lauds DHS Policy That Puts Public Safety First In Enforcing Immigration Laws

August 19 2011


Julian Teixeira
(202) 776-1812

Washington, D.C.—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) praised the announcement made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding important steps that the agency will be taking to better focus immigration enforcement resources to enhance public safety. Like all law enforcement agencies, DHS has limited resources that should be used in the most effective way possible, and the process outlined today will allow the department to focus on community safety.

“This is a significant acknowledgment by DHS that it needs a process in place to focus on the people it has stated are its enforcement priority—people who have committed serious crimes and who pose a grave threat to public safety. Focusing on the greatest threats is just plain common sense when it comes to law enforcement,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.

DHS announced that it has created a process that includes an interagency team of senior leaders in DHS and Department of Justice (DOJ) who will review the current deportation caseload and identify low-priority cases that should be considered for an exercise of discretion. The agency will also provide guidance to prevent resources from being spent on low-priority cases.

“We will closely monitor the implementation of this process to ensure that it is applied robustly and that it brings public safety squarely into focus. Advocates across the country have been doing an incredible amount of work to share the countless stories of how the current policies are creating fear and suffering in communities nationwide. We are hopeful that this new action will bring us to a place where community safety is the focus of enforcement actions, and the pain felt in communities is diminished.

“Programs such as Secure Communities have been extremely frustrating and confusing for many, including law enforcement and the immigrant community. This announcement today is an important step in the right direction to bring sorely needed direction and clarity in current policies. If executed correctly, the changes announced today will bring much-needed relief,” concluded Murguía.



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