In June, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) proclaimed that it would begin using "prosecutorial discretion" and focusing on deporting undocumented immigrants who had committed crimes or were otherwise dangerous.
Additionally, the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said in August that the feds would review 300,000 deportation cases that are currently pending in federal immigration courts.
Those reviews reportedly began two weeks ago, and since then, two congress members from Illinois have begun helping people to test the new policy. Democratic Reps. Luis Gutiérrez and Jan Schakowsky have reportedly been successful thus far in getting deportations stopped or delayed against several immigrants with no criminal backgrounds.
This included a family from the Chicago area who had overstayed their visas. One of the congressmen personally presented the case to Janet Napolitano, who decided to put the family's deportation on hold.
As the congressmen take a hands-on approach to testing the new policy, many are left wondering what happens next. What happens when a deportation case is dropped against a person who is not a legal resident? Will the person be granted residency?
It's likely too early to tell. Moreover, it appears that ICE offices around the nation are treating the new policy differently, and some appear to be refusing to comply altogether.
However, people who have been in the country for a long period of time or are sick seem to be most successful at getting their deportation cases stopped, Fox News Latino reported. But at this point, there's no way to know how many people have had their deportations halted under the new policy, Fox said.
If you are facing deportation, talk to an immigration attorney who can give you more information about the new ICE policy and how it could affect your case.
Source: Fox News Latino, "Seeking Sympathetic Cases to Test Obama's Deportation Policy," Nov. 27