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Judicial Watch • Most Illegal Aliens Exempt From “Mandatory Detention”

Most Illegal Aliens Exempt From “Mandatory Detention”

Most Illegal Aliens Exempt From “Mandatory Detention”

JULY 07, 2010

Although he claims that enforcing immigration laws is vital to national security and public safety, the Assistant Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) circulated an internal memo ordering officers not to arrest a broad range of illegal aliens he deems immune from “mandatory detention.”

Field office directors “should not expend detention resources on aliens who are known to be suffering from serious physical or mental illness, or who are disabled, elderly, pregnant, or nursing, or demonstrate that they are primary caretakers of children or an infirm person, or whose detention is otherwise not in the public interest,” according to a memorandum issued by ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton.

That’s because the Homeland Security agency has “limited resources” and must prioritize the use of its enforcement personnel and detention space. Therefore, illegal immigrants that fall into the above referenced category are “not subject to mandatory detention,” according to Morton, who also writes that “particular care” should be given when dealing with the immediate family members of U.S. citizens.

Morton further points out in the four-page memo that the agency only has the resources to remove less than 4% of undocumented people living in the U.S. Thus the justification for ignoring the other several million, even if it compromises national security, public safety and all those other important things.

Days after the agency charged with immigration enforcement admits it can’t–or won’t–get the job done, the Obama Administration sues Arizona for passing a law that “unconstitutionally” intervenes with the government’s authority to do it. The measure, which makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally and bans “sanctuary city” policies, interferes with federal immigration responsibilities, according to Attorney General Eric Holder.

“Arizonans are understandably frustrated with illegal immigration and the federal government has a responsibility to comprehensively address those concerns,” Holder said after filing the lawsuit in Phoenix this week. He added that “setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility.”

Not surprisingly, Holder didn’t address the shameful ICE memo that reveals the federal government is in fact ignoring its responsibility when it comes to immigration enforcement. That means more states will probably follow Arizona’s lead in creating their own measures and the feds will spend more tax dollars to fight them.


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