@americasvoice: Game Plan from the GOP and Allies on Child Refugees: Grandstand; Distort; Do Nothing; Repeat

From America’s Voice

The Same Game Plan Used by the Republicans on Every Immigration Debate

 Washington, DC – When it comes to addressing the ongoing child refugee crisis at the border, Republicans and their allies have solidified a strategy of trying to score political points, driving memes that are fact-free, and then ending with a flourish of inaction.  See below for recent evidence of the GOP game plan in motion:

Perry Steps Up Effort to Protect Texas from “Invasion” of 12-Year Old Refugees Fleeing Violence: In a shameless attempt to revive his presidential prospects, Texas Governor Rick Perry scored another day of media coverage when he announced yesterday he’ll be sending 1,000 national guard troops to “secure the border.”  Because, after all, when young kids run to border patrol agents rather than from them, the appropriate response is to send troops, right?  We can’t wait for the photos of National Guardsmen processing paperwork and changing diapers.  Perry’s move is as transparent as his new glasses.

Senator Ted Cruz Attacks Relief for DREAMers as the Root Cause of Child Refugee Issue: Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) continues to be the lead voice claiming that the cause of the child refugee crisis President’s popular Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  Violence in three of the top five most violent countries in the world?  Nah.  It’s that Obama granted relief to young people who arrived in America before June 2007 that spurred an exodus from three specific countries in June 2014!  The political fallout from this anti-immigrant posturing was demonstrated on Capitol Hill yesterday, as DREAMers mobilized to hold a funeral for the Republican Party.  As Greisa Martinez, organizer for United We Dream, said, “The GOP will not stand for us. They will not fight for us. The GOP is dead to the immigrant community.”

Extremist, Anti-Immigrant Leaders Call for Obama’s Impeachment AND Public Lynching: Anti-immigrant groups just can’t help themselves when it comes to the ongoing child refugee crisis.  Senior Policy Analyst Stephen Steinlight of the nativist group Center for Immigration Studies – a group routinely called by House and Senate Republicans to testify as “experts” at immigration hearings – called for the President to not only be impeached, but also to be “hung, drawn, and quartered.”  Instead of being called as witnesses by Congressional Republicans, this guy should be called to account by the Secret Service.

What if Steve King Held Another Anti-Immigration Rally and Again No One Showed Up?  Nativist opponents of immigration reform were supposed to make their big stand this last weekend, spurred on by the Murrieta, California protest against Central American kids.  Mostly led by two internet groups, Make Them Listen and Overpasses for America, extremists had rallies planned in every state.  In an Iowa rally where Steve King was the headliner, attendance was so sparse it prompted comparisons to his infamous failure of a Richmond rally last August.  Other rallies around the nation were also a bust, highlighting — as Right Wing Watch put it — “the truth that the anti-immigrant movement is desperately trying to hide: it just doesn’t have that much support.”

On His So-Called “HUMANE” Bill, Cornyn Touts More Lies & Makes the Case for More and Faster Cursory Interviews with Terrified Children and Border Patrol Agents with Weapons:  In a new National Review op-ed, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) distorts his own bill, the so-called “HUMANE Act.” He writes, “A new bill would help fix the immediate crisis and assist thousands of children.  Now, some on both sides of the aisle have expressed concerns about this legislation. On the right, they have said this bill would make it easier for illegal minors to achieve legal and asylum status. That is wrong. The HUMANE Act would not change current law with regard to either claim.  It would, however, make sure current law is actually enforced by speeding up court dates and the removal process for unaccompanied children.”  In fact, instead of current law, which provides children with the opportunity to secure legal counsel and prepare a case to be heard by an asylum officer or immigration judge, his bill would take scared kids who just survived a harrowing journey and subject them to cursory interviews by border patrol agents in green uniforms with a sidearm strapped to their waist.  A recent UNHCR review of the process used for Mexican unaccompanied minors, found that 95% of the kids interviewed by border patrol agents are denied relief and sent home when the UN estimated that 58% had protection claims.

Rep. Phil Gingrey asks CDC to Check Kids for Ebola Virus—Despite the Fact that Not One Case of the Disease Exists in the Americas:  As Ken Sepkowitz of the Daily Beast writes in a piece entitled, “D.C. Moron Phil Gingrey Spread Ebola Fever Over Immigrants”: “The red hot topics of immigration across the Mexican border and infectious disease epidemics converged this month when Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), a retired obstetrician-gynecologist, claimed that ‘illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus, and tuberculosis’ represent a threat to American health and well-being.  It is a new, if very old argument in the immigration wars, but Dr. Gingrey’s suggestion, in a letter to the director of the Centers for Disease Control, is unusually dim-witted.  Were I, an infectious disease guy, to write to a federal agency about an obstetrical matter, I at least would run my tractate past a colleague in the OB field.  Gingrey, apparently, was in too big a hurry to have a friendly local ID expert point out that swine flu is not in season (indeed, the brief dust-up of a few cases among immigrant children reported a week ago has gone nowhere fast); that dengue fever is not transmitted person to person; and that Ebola has not appeared in the Americas—North, South, or Central—and shows no signs of doing so. OK, so TB is always a threat, sort of, but we know how to screen for it and, from the evidence one can find, are doing so not only at the Mexico entry point but across all immigration points.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “The GOP’s strategy is on full display.  Grandstand, distort and then do nothing.  It’s what the GOP did on immigration reform.  It’s what they are doing on the supplemental budget request before Congress.  And, as always, Speaker Boehner and his ‘leadership team’ finish with a blame game pirouette in which all is Obama’s fault.  So be it.  The GOP will play it’s game, focused on whipping up the 30% of the country that believes anything Fox News and talk radio say.  But if Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and other Presidential wannabes are curious about how this strategy might pan out, perhaps they should ask Mitt Romney.”

Hate groups seize on suffering of Central American Children to spread their filthy message

Hate groups are exploiting the suffering of Central American Children to spread their ugly message.  Are we going to remain silent?

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/07/11/texas-right-wing-militia-to-child-immigrants-get-back-or-you-will-be-shot/

Texas Right-Wing Militia To Child Immigrants: ‘Get Back … Or You Will Be Shot’

 

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/07/12/operation-normandy-seeks-3500-volunteers-by-next-may-to-stop-an-invasion-at-u-s-mexico-border/

‘Operation Normandy’ Seeks 3,500 Volunteers by Next May to ‘Stop an Invasion’ at U.S.-Mexico Border

 

“The Federation for American Immigration Reform, a national group, is sponsoring the trip. FAIR seeks to improve border security, stop illegal immigration and promote consistent immigration levels, according to its website.”

 

http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/politics_and_government/sheriff-heading-to-texas-for-firsthand-look-at-border-crisis/article_b0fae1c4-af18-57bf-8548-74fafb53afaa.html

Sheriff heading to Texas for firsthand look at border crisis

 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/gop-congressman-kids-at-border-gang-members-from-culture-of

GOP Congressman: Kids At Border “Gang Members” From Culture Of “Rape”

More nastiness from @SenatorSessions on #immigration

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) injected his own brand of nastiness into the debate over the plight of the Central American refugees fleeing Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador for other countries in the region, including the U.S.

Not surprisingly, Sessions fails to offer a single constructive policy solution; just more partisan rancor, including the absurd claim that the crisis is the result of the Administration’s failure to enforce the immigration law.

Of course Sessions does take the opportunity to call for an end to DACA and the deportation of DREAMERs.

Read the letter here:  2014-07-14 Sessions Letter

Immigration Reform Has Some Dry Bones

Originally posted on TIME:

Immigration reform appears to be dead in this Congress. According to recent reports, Speaker Boehner told President Obama that the House would not take action on immigration legislation this year. This is a moral failure of leadership.

The resounding message from the Republican House leadership is that politics is more important than the suffering of families. In the end, the thousands of stories that evangelical Christians have brought to Republicans don’t matter to them. There is no other conclusion to be drawn.

President Obama responded with an announcement that his Administration will take executive action to attempt to fix some of the inhumane consequences of this horrible system and “try to help relieve the suffering” as faith leaders asked him to do in a meeting at the White House this week. Republicans will likely decry his efforts as “overreach” and claim he is failing to enforce the existing law…

View original 650 more words

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY JEH JOHNSON BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY

Chairman McCaul, Ranking Member Thompson, and Members of the Committee:

 

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today about our efforts to address the recent rise of unaccompanied children and others crossing our border in the Rio Grande Valley.  With me today to answer questions are Craig Fugate, the Administrator of FEMA, and Ron Vitiello, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol.

 

To be clear, we face an urgent situation in the Rio Grande Valley. Last fiscal year, CBP apprehended more than 24,000 unaccompanied children at the border.  By mid-June of this fiscal year, that number has doubled to more than 52,000.  Those from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras make up about three quarters of that migration.

 

On Friday, I traveled to South Texas for the fourth time in six months in office, this time to lead an interagency team to oversee our efforts there.  While there we met with officials at McAllen and Lackland to review the situation and hear directly from those on the ground what their needs are.  While there I spent time talking with the children again.  It was a vivid reminder that this is a humanitarian issue as much as it is a matter of border security.  We are talking about large numbers of children, without their parents, who have arrived at our border—hungry, thirsty, exhausted, scared and vulnerable. How we treat the children, in particular, is a reflection of our laws and our values.

 

Therefore, to address this situation, our strategy is three-fold: (1) process the increased tide of unaccompanied children through the system as quickly as possible; (2) stem the increased tide of illegal migration into the Rio Grande Valley; and (3) do these things in a manner consistent with our laws and values as Americans.

 

So, here is what we are doing:

 

First, on May 12th, I declared a Level IV condition of readiness within DHS, which is a determination that the capacity of CBP and ICE to deal with the situation is full and we need to draw upon additional resources across all of DHS.  I appointed Deputy Chief Vitiello to coordinate this effort within DHS.

 

Second, on June 1st, President Obama, consistent with the Homeland Security Act, directed me to establish a Unified Coordination Group to bring to bear the assets of the entire federal government on the situation.  This Group includes DHS and all of its components, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, Justice, State, and the General Services Administration.  I, in turn, designated FEMA Administrator Fugate to serve as the Federal Coordinating Official for the U.S. Government-wide response.  Under Administrator Fugate’s supervision, there are now more than 140 interagency personnel and members stationed in FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center dedicated to this effort.

 

Third, we have established added capacity to deal with the processing and housing of the children, we are creating additional capacity in places, and we are considering others.  To process the increased numbers of unaccompanied children in Texas, DHS has had to bring the children to our processing center at Nogales, Arizona before they are sent to HHS.  We are arranging additional processing centers to handle the rise in the RGV.  Meanwhile, the Department of Defense has provided space at Lackland air base in Texas for HHS to house the children before HHS can place them. DoD is also providing facilities at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Ventura, California for the same purpose. FEMA, DHS, and HHS are working to continue to identify additional facilities for DHS and HHS to house and process the influx of children.

 

Fourth, DHS and HHS are increasing Spanish-speaking case management staff, increasing staff handling incoming calls from parents or guardians, raising awareness of the Parent Hotline provided by FEMA and operated by HHS, surging staff to manage the intake of CBP referrals to track shelter bed capacity, and facilitate shelter designations.  We are developing ways to expedite background checks for sponsors of children, integrate CBP and HHS information sharing systems, and increase capacity to transport and place children.  (Here I must note, from personal observation, that our Border Patrol and other CBP personnel, as well as personnel from HHS, ICE, FEMA, and the Coast Guard, are doing a remarkable job in difficult circumstances.  I have also witnessed how the not-for-profit Baptist Child Family Services stepped in quickly and is also doing a remarkable job housing the unaccompanied children at Lackland, identifying and then placing them consistent with HHS’s legal obligations. All of these dedicated men and women deserve our recognition, support and gratitude.)

 

Fifth, DHS is building additional detention capacity for adults who cross the border illegally in the Rio Grande Valley with their children.  For this purposeDHS is establishing a temporary facility for adults with children on the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center’s campus at Artesia, New Mexico. The establishment of this temporary facility will help CBP process those encountered at the border and allow ICE to increase its capacity to house and expedite the removal of adults with children in a manner that complies with federal law.  Artesia is one of several facilities that DHS is considering to increase our capacity to hold and expedite the removal of the increasing number of adults with children illegally crossing the southwest border.   DHS will ensure that after apprehension, families are housed in facilities that adequately provide for their safety, security, and medical needs. Meanwhile, we will also expand use of the Alternatives to Detention program to utilize all mechanisms for enforcement and removal in the RGV Sector.  DOJ is temporarily reassigning immigration judges to handle the additional caseload via video teleconferencing.  These immigration judges will adjudicate these cases as quickly as possible, consistent with all existing legal and procedural standards, including those for asylum applicants.  Overall, this increased capacity and resources will allow ICE to return unlawful migrants from Central America to their home countries more quickly.

 

Sixth, DHS has brought on more transportation assets to assist in the effort.  The Coast Guard is loaning air assets to help transport the children. ICE is leasing additional charter aircraft.

 

Seventh, throughout the RGV Sector, we are conducting public health screening for all those who come into our facilities for any symptoms of contagious diseases or other possible public health concerns.  Both DHS and HHS are ensuring that the children’s nutritional and hygienic needs are met while in our custody; that children are provided regular meals and access to drinks and snacks throughout the day; that they receive constant supervision; and that children who exhibit signs of illness or disease are given proper medical care.  We have also made clear that all individuals will be treated with dignity and respect, and any instances of mistreatment reported to us will be investigated.

 

Eighth, working through FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center, we are coordinating with voluntary and faith-based organizations to help us manage the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the border.  The American Red Cross is providing blankets and other supplies and, through their Restoring Family Links program, is coordinating calls between children in the care of DHS and families anxious about their well-being.

 

Ninth, to stem the tide of children seeking to enter the United States, we have also been in contact with senior government officials of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico to address our shared border security interests, the underlying conditions in Central America that are promoting the mass exodus, and how we can work together to assure faster, secure removal and repatriation.  Last week President Obama spoke with Mexican President Peña Nieto about the situation, as has Secretary Kerry.  This past Friday, Vice President Biden also visited Guatemala to meet with regional leaders to address the influx of unaccompanied children and families from Central America and the underlying security and economic issues that are causing this migration. The Vice President announced that the U.S. will be providing a range of new assistance to the region, including $9.6 million in additional funding for Central American governments to receive and reintegrate their repatriated citizens, and a new $40 million U.S. Agency for International Development program in Guatemala over 5 years to improve citizen security. An additional $161.5 million will be provided this year under the Central American Regional Security Initiative to further enable Central American countries to respond to the region’s most pressing security and governance challenges. I will travel to Guatemala on July 8-9. The government of El Salvador has sent additional personnel from its consulate in the U.S. to South Texas to help expedite repatriation to its country.

 

Tenth, DHS, together with DOJ, has added personnel and resources to the investigation, prosecution and dismantling of the smuggling organizations that are facilitating border crossings into the Rio Grande Valley.  Homeland Security Investigations, which is part of ICE, is surging 60 additional criminal investigators and support personnel to their San Antonio and Houston offices for this purpose. In May, ICE concluded a month-long, targeted enforcement operation that focused on the logistics networks of human smuggling organizations along the southwest border, with operations in El Paso, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, and San Diego that resulted in 163 arrests of smugglers. ICE will continue to vigorously pursue and dismantle these alien smuggling organizations by all investigative means to include the financial structure of these criminal organizations.  These organizations not only facilitate illegal migration across our border, they traumatize and exploit the children who are objects of their smuggling operation.  We will also continue to work with our partners in Central America and Mexico to help locate, disrupt, and dismantle transnational criminal smuggling networks.

 

Eleventh, we are initiating and intensifying our public affairs campaigns in Spanish, with radio, print, and TV spots, to communicate the dangers of sending unaccompanied children on the long journey from Central America to the United States, and the dangers of putting children into the hands of criminal smuggling organizations.

 

In collaboration with DHS, the Department of State has launched public awareness campaigns in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, to warn families about the dangers encountered by unaccompanied minors who attempt to travel from Central America to the U.S., and to counter misperceptions that smugglers may be disseminating about immigration benefits in the United States. Our embassies in Central America have collaborated with CBP to ensure both the language and images of the campaign materials would resonate with local audiences. I have personally issued an open letter (see attached) to the parents of those who are sending their children from Central America to the U.S., to be distributed broadly in Spanish and English, to highlight the dangers of the journey, and to emphasize there are no free passes or “permisos” at the other end.  We are stressing that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or “DACA,” does not apply to children who arrive now or in the future in the United States, and that, to be considered for DACA, individuals must have continually resided in the U.S. since June 2007.  We are making clear that the “earned path to citizenship” contemplated by the Senate bill passed last year will not apply to individuals who cross the border now or in the future; only to those who have been in the country for the last year and a half.

 

Twelfth, given the influx of unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley, we have increased CBP staffing and detailed 115 additional experienced agents from less active sectors to augment operations there.  I am considering sending 150 more border patrol agents based on my review of operations there this past week.  These additional agents allow RGV the flexibility needed to achieve more interdiction effectiveness and increase CBP’s operational footprint in targeted zones within its area of operations.

 

Thirteenth, in early May I directed the development of a Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Planning effort that is putting together a strategic framework to further enhance security of our southern border.  Plan development will be guided by specific outcomes and quantifiable targets for border security and will address improved information sharing, continued enhancement and integration of sensors, and unified command and control structures as appropriate.  The overall planning effort will also include a subset of campaign plans focused on addressing challenges within specific geographic areas, all with the goal of enhancing our border security.

 

Finally, we will continue to work closely with Congress on this problem, and keep you informed. DHS is updating Members and staff on the situation in conference calls two times a week, and we are facilitating site visits to Border Patrol facilities in Texas and Arizona for a number of Members and their staff.

 

I have directed my staff to be forthright in bringing to me every conceivable, lawful option for consideration, to address this problem.  In cooperation with the other agencies of our government that are dedicating resources to the effort, with the support of Congress, and in cooperation with the governments of Mexico and Central America, I believe we will stem this tide.  Thank you.

Opinion: Why Can’t The Children Be Turned Around At The Border And Sent Home?

Originally published on Fox News Latino

There is a humanitarian crisis in South and Central America. Political turmoil, ravaged economies, and social problems have led tens of thousands of children to flee Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to escape abuse, criminal gangs and violence. Others are forced leave their home countries as victims of human trafficking or abandonment.

While the U.S. is not the only country effected, thousands of victims of violence have made their way north to the Southwest border. Among the latest inflow are growing numbers of female victims and children under the age of 12. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that more than 60,000 fleeing children will enter the U.S. by the end of this fiscal year. That’s a staggering 35,000 more than entered in 2013 and nearly 55,000 more than entered just a decade ago.

What’s being done to respond to the crisis?

The Obama Administration has set in motion an interagency effort to deal with the crisis and protect the children. FEMA is leading and coordinating a government-wide effort to identify appropriate facilities to house the minors, transport them to Health and Human Services custody as required by law, and provide medical and other services to children in the overcrowded Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers.

But more must be done to protect them. The Administration must ensure that these children are not subject to further abuse and neglect while it the custody of the U.S. government.

Why can’t the children simply be turned around at the border and sent home?

While the immigration laws provide for the expedited removal of noncitizens seeking to enter without valid documents, there are humanitarian exceptions for children and others fleeing persecution and violence.

Children who flee to the U.S. from countries other than Canada or Mexico cannot be immediately returned across the border. Our laws further require that vulnerable youngsters who are forced to make a long, arduous and dangerous trip north from South and Central America be transferred by the Department of Homeland Security to the supervision of the Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours.

The policies behind these laws – which were enacted well before the Obama Administration – reflect Congress’ belief that children, particularly those who have been abandoned or are victims of human trafficking or other horrible crimes, are the most defenseless immigrants. Ensuring their safety is a fundamental priority. They are deserving of special protection.

Nevertheless, children fleeing danger – many of whom have suffered unspeakable violence, including sexual assault and human trafficking – are subject to deportation from the U.S. While some may be eligible for asylum, special immigrant juvenile status or visas which protect crime victims, most will eventually be ordered deported to their home countries – Guatemala, El Salvador or Honduras – and back to the violence and dead ends they originally fled.

Nor does the system provide unaccompanied minors legal representation in immigration court, even though very few have the means to hire an attorney. Thankfully, the Obama Administration, in an unprecedented move, has sought to make lawyers available to the children so they do not have to face the daunting task of representing themselves in complicated legal proceedings.

It’s also important to note that the children fleeing violence and arriving at the Southwest border will not qualify for DACA, the deportation reprieve President Obama put into place for DREAMERs in 2012, or earned legalization under the various immigration reform bills passed by the Senate or pending in the House of Representatives. All reform legislation cuts off eligibility for undocumented immigrants who recently entered the U.S.

Predictably, anti-immigrant politicians and their supporters seek to capitalize on the humanitarian crisis in an effort to kill immigration reform efforts in the U.S.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for example, whose rabid hatred of immigrants and immigration reform has made him the darling of the nativist/restrictionist movement, has been quick to falsely claim that it’s the result of the Obama Administration’s alleged failure to enforce the immigration law. Never mind that, according to the Congressional Research Service, illegal immigration has dropped nearly 75 percent since 2000, or that more than 1 million undocumented immigrants have been deported under the President’s watch. Cynical politicians bank on the fact that perception is often more valuable than reality.

In fact, the surge of children fleeing South and Central America is an international humanitarian crisis — the result of regional social, economic and political turmoil in the region. While it may be tempting for some to use the agony of victimized children to score cheap political points, responsible members of Congress ought to reach across the aisle in a bipartisan effort to ensure that vulnerable children are protected, and their lives back home are improved so they aren’t forced to make this difficult and dangerous choice.

David Leopold is the former national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and currently practices immigration law in Cleveland, Ohio.

Detroit ICE director Adducci missed the Morton memo

Posted on The Hill Congress Blog

Nearly three years ago former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton issued a memo directing agents to replace the rubber stamp in deportation cases with common sense.

Unfortunately, not all ICE directors seem to have gotten the memo.

Meet Rebecca Adducci the Detroit-based ICE bureaucrat who oversees immigration enforcement and deportation in Michigan and Ohio. The Morton memo explicitly lists all the factors Adducci is supposed to consider before ordering a deportation, but her decisions suggest that she hasn’t read it or is refusing to comply.
Take the case of Luis Nicasio-Padilla, an undocumented immigrant in who lives in northern Ohio. Luis’ wife is a legal immigrant and his three children are United States citizens. Luis works hard, provides for his family—including two children with serious medical issues—owns a home, pays his taxes, and is a talented musician who performs locally in a Mariachi band.

And Luis has tried best to play by the rules of a dysfunctional and unforgiving immigration system. With his wife’s sponsorship he applied for and received immigrant visa classification by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services a bureau of the Department of Homeland Security. But, because of the antiquated and inadequate visa system he has been stuck waiting for his green card in a seemingly interminable “legal immigration line”.

In the meantime ICE, another bureau of the Department of Homeland Security, charged Luis with deportation and sent him to an immigration judge. With no immediate way to comply with the law Luis, despite his immigrant visa classification, found himself at the wrong end of a deportation order. For the past year and a half Luis—despite having been approved for immigration by USICS, has had to report to ICE to prepare for his deportation.

Go figure.

To be sure Luis has dutifully complied with the arduous demands made on him by ICE which include the weekly hour and half trip to the ICE Cleveland office and frequent contact with enforcement agents. It’s all worth it if he has a chance at legal immigration status and the ability to go to sleep each night without fearing arrest, detention, deportation and separation from his family.

But Adducci has other ideas.

Last week she abruptly, and with precious little explanation, refused to extend Luis’ request to remain in the U.S. with his wife and children. Never mind the compelling equities in Luis’ favor—his loving family, his excellent work record, his payment of taxes, his talent as a musician, or his approved visa petition. And never mind the fact that Luis would qualify for status under the bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate and pending in the House.

True, the hopes of millions of undocumented immigrants like Luis are currently being held hostage by House GOP leadership’s refusal to allow a vote on immigration reform. But that’s no excuse for ICE bureaucrats like Adducci to patently ignore policy directives from the Administration requiring that they enforce the immigration law with common sense by focusing on removing dangerous criminals and security risks, not hard working mothers and fathers.

Nor is it an excuse for the Obama Administration to fail to control ICE field directors like Rebecca Adducci who thumb their noses at national enforcement priorities and brazenly continue to tear apart American families at will.

The Obama administration must ensure that not one more American family is destroyed because a parent, sister, brother or grandparent is prevented by a dysfunctional policy from complying with the immigration law. If Congress refuses to act, the president must.

And he can start by demanding that ICE officers like Rebecca Adducci follow the guidelines he has already laid out.

Leopold is an Ohio based immigration attorney, reform advocate and past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He is currently representing Luis Nicasio-Padilla in his case.

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