Tomorrow’s Immigration News Today: Devil In The Details

Not to equate the United States Justice Department with Lucifer himself, but the old saying that “the devil’s in the details” is holding up with President Obama’s immigration actions. You have to read with a particular eye, but a Washington Post report by  Juliet Eilperin and Jerry Markon notes that “… one of the provisions the Justice Department lawyers included, which they also pushed for during the creation of the 2012 program, was to make clear that federal immigration officials would still have the option of deporting individuals who might otherwise qualify for a deferral.”

Wait, what? With some 400,000 cases pending in the Justice Department’s own immigration courts, they also have the option of deporting people who would “otherwise” qualify for defferral? The WaPo also reports that the “… memo states that the new policy ‘provides for case-by-case determinations about whether an individual alien’s circumstances warrant the expenditure of removal resources, employing a broad standard that leaves ample room for the exercise of individual discretion by enforcement officials.’”

One point of the story is that some people who might qualify for protection under the Obama action will no self-identify to authorities. It’s the kind of uncertainty that has kept some “Dreamers” from stepping forward. From what we’ve seen in the past year, “trust the Justice Department” is going to be a tough sell, and a future headline will be “Few Take Obama Up On Protection Offer.”

You read it here first! And you can see the excellent WaPo work here.