TODAY'S QUESTION: Should immigration officials practice selective deportation?

Monday, August 9, 2010 | 1:37 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — In 2009, President Barack Obama's administration increased the overall rate of deportation, according to figures from the United States' immigration enforcement agency.

But, according to a New York Times article, this ramped-up deportation isn't occurring indiscriminately. Due to limited resources and changing enforcement priorities, immigration officials are sparing students who came to the United States without papers as children. Enforcement agencies are instead focusing on the deportation of a record number of immigrants convicted of crimes.

"In a world of limited resources, our time is better spent on someone who is here unlawfully and is committing crimes in the neighborhood as opposed to someone who came to this country as a juvenile and spent the vast majority of their life here," said John Morton, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in the article.

According to the article, many of these students have grown up in the United States, often unaware of their illegal status. A bill now before Congress would grant citizenship to more than 700,000 of these minors.

Currently, however, the Department of Homeland Security has no formal policy allowing the students to stay.

Critics of the changing enforcement priorities say officials should pursue all illegal immigrants with the same tenacity. According to The New York Times' article, critics worry selective deportations will weaken overall enforcement against illegal immigration.

Should immigration officials practice selective deportation?

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Chris Meissen August 10, 2010 | 12:45 p.m.

Every one of those students who is here ILLEGALLY is displacing a potential LEGAL college student. Allowing that ILLEGAL student to stay rewards the law-breaking behavior that brought him/her to this country in the first place. It also punishes those who obeyed the law(s) and waited in line for their chance to enter the country or to enter college under the published rules. If they are not a citizen and are not here legally, deport them when found and charge them or their parents for the cost of the legal proceeding and the plane tickets to send them back to their native land.

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez August 10, 2010 | 1:36 p.m.

Deport everyone who is here illegally.

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Ellis Smith August 10, 2010 | 11:01 p.m.

Easier said than done, Carlos.

Given how the United States defines who is a citizen, which is different from how most industrialized countries define citizenship, the college student if BORN HERE to illegal immigrants is BY BIRTH a United States citizen even though his/her parents are not. In that case, the student stays but the parents could be deported. (Don't hold your breath while awaiting deportation.)

An example of how other countries define citizenship. A German citizen is any legitimate child of a German father or illegitimate child of a German mother. WHERE in the world the child is born is not relevant.

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez August 11, 2010 | 8:06 a.m.

That is why we need a total reworking of the Immigration Law. Do you know how much Anchor Babies cost the United States Tax Payer yearly? It is astounding.

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