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Immigration Law

DACA, DAPA Reviews Lead to ICE Releases

"More than 200 people have been released from immigration custody in Arizona in the last month following the Department of Homeland Security’s new enforcement priorities, ICE officials said.

On Nov. 20, President Obama announced that parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents may apply for temporary relief from deportation and for work permits. He also expanded a similar program for children brought to the country illegally. About 140,000 people may benefit in Arizona, the D.C.-based Migration Policy Institute estimates.

The same day, citing limited resources, the DHS issued new guidance on who is a priority for deportation, including who agents and officers should stop, question and arrest, and which people they should release.

Nationwide, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released 618 people as of Dec. 27, following case reviews of people in custody. That includes detainees who appear to qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents, as well those who no longer fall within DHS’ specified enforcement priorities based on their case histories, ICE officials said in an email.

“Detainees who meet one of more of these criteria are being released from ICE custody under an order of supervision pending a final determination in their cases,” officials said. “Serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety remain a priority for ICE detention.” Officers have a checklist to see if people qualify for deferred action or whether they fall under the agency’s enforcement priorities, which include suspected terrorists, gang members, convicted felons and those caught at the border." - Perla Trevizo, Arizona Daily Star, Dec. 30, 2014.