Illegal immigrants not accused of crimes may get a break | VailDaily.com

Illegal immigrants not accused of crimes may get a break

Shankar Vedantam
The Washington Post

The Obama administration is moving to release thousands of illegal immigrants detained at facilities across the country if the immigrants have a potential path to legal residency.

The move could affect as many as 17,000 immigrants who entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. It comes amid a push by ICE to focus on illegal immigrants who have committed crimes, rather than seek to deport all illegal immigrants.

Officials say the shift is needed to reduce massive clogs in the nation’s immigration courts – where detainees wait for months or years before their cases are decided – and to use deportation as a tool for public safety.

“ICE is dedicating unprecedented resources to the removal of criminal aliens,” said Richard Rocha, deputy press secretary at the immigration enforcement agency. “The focus now is clearly on criminal aliens. . . . We want to ensure convicted criminal aliens are not only removed from the community but from the country as well.”

Read more: Illegal immigrants not accused of crimes may get a break – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/politics/ci_15918363#ixzz0y6ohfM00