By MACKENZIE WEINGER | Politico
Under fire from Hispanic groups for record-high deportations, the Obama administration said Thursday it will undertake a case-by-case review of illegal immigrants who are facing ouster from the country and will allow many who don’t have criminal records the chance to stay.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that there will be an indefinite delay in many deportations and individual case reviews of the approximately 300,000 illegal immigrants who are currently facing possible expulsion, the AP reported.
Last year, the Obama administration deported nearly 400,000 people — a record number. Of the 393,000 deported, fewer than half of those were convicted criminals.
The rising number of deportations has angered the Hispanic community, a key voting bloc for President Barack Obama, and there were protests organized by Latinos around the country about it earlier this week.
The administration said Thursday its top priority will be targeting illegal immigrants with criminal convictions for deportation.
Those who are low priorities for deporting — such as young people who were brought to the U.S. as children, military veterans and spouses of military personnel — will no longer be a focus.
The case-by-case review will allow the Dept. of Homeland Security and Dept. of Justice to clear out the low-priority cases and ensure that illegal immigrants with criminal convictions or who pose a security risk are at the forefront of the deportation pipeline.