Senate Democrats

Reid Applauds Obama’s Decision to Prioritize Use of Limited Immigration Enforcement Resources

New directive will ensure focus on true law enforcement threats like violent criminals

Washington, D.C.—Nevada Senator Harry Reid issued the following statement after the Obama Administration announced measures to make immigration enforcement more efficient and effective by executing a case-by-case review of individuals currently in removal proceedings, and those who may be placed in proceedings in the future. This will help focus on our highest deportation priorities such as violent criminals. The Department of Homeland Security announced the changes in a response to a letter Senator Reid and 21 other Democratic senators sent to the President on April 13:

“I applaud President Obama for taking this decisive step to bring our immigration enforcement policies more in line with our national security and public safety priorities. This new DHS directive will help prioritize our limited enforcement resources to focus on serious felons, gang members and individuals who are a national security threat rather than college students and veterans who have risked their lives for our country. This commonsense approach will address an untenable situation where the deportations of foreign drug traffickers and violent criminals face long delays because our immigration courts are overwhelmed by low-priority cases of individuals with no criminal records.

“I am especially pleased about the impact these new policies will have on those who would benefit from the DREAM Act. These young people are American in all but paperwork: in language, culture, love for this land, and yearning to serve in our military, or become college graduates who fully contribute to our nation. We lose a lot by sending them back to countries they do not know.

“The President’s decision is a step in the right direction. However, the solution to our broken immigration system must come from Congress. Once more, I ask my Republican colleagues to join Democrats in enacting tough, smart, and fair comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders; strengthens existing immigration laws; and requires the approximately 11 million people in this country illegally to register with the government and get right with the law.”