Growing pressure on the Administration from immigration activists has led the President to announce yet another review of deportation policies with the aim to make them “more humane.” Following the announcement, there was a mad rush to get “administrative action” memos to the White House from various groups, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC).
Parallel to the White House directive, former and currently undocumented immigrant leaders from across the country formed a Blue Ribbon Commission to perform an independent review and present its recommendations to the President, helping fill the noticeable lack of representation from those seeking legal status and citizenship in recently-convened White House meetings. The executive summary and full report is available here.
Labeled as ambitious by some media outlets, the myriad of recommendations, ranging from stopping deportations to curtailing the use of detention to scaling back on immigration enforcement and extending labor protections to undocumented workers, are certainly lofty, as described by MSNBC–but nothing short of ambitious and lofty would do at this point.
- Expand deferred action to the fullest extent of the law, to as many people as possible;
- End all programs involving ICE and local-law enforcement collaboration, including Secure Communities, 287(g) agreements and the Criminal Alien Program (CAP);
- Protect basic rights by granting deferred action to individuals filing civil, labor or human rights complaints, and adopting a formal non-retaliation policy prohibiting agents from targeting defenders of civil, labor and human rights for arrest, detention or deportation;
- Eliminate the bed quota and end or drastically curtail the use of detention;
- Revise ICE’s enforcement priorities and expand the low-priority criteria;
- Improve conditions in detention facilities and expand protections for vulnerable detainees including pregnant women, HIV+ and transgender individuals, and people with disabilities;
- Stop collaborating with rogue Sheriffs and terminate agreements with local law enforcement officials that undermine civil, labor, and human rights
- Expand use of humanitarian parole to ensure that people previously deported can return to the U.S.;
- End all ICE home and community raids programs including the Criminal Alien Removal Initiative (CARI), eliminate the use of mobile biometric devices, and ensure the protection of civil rights during all enforcement operations;
- End Operation Streamline;
- Terminate all federal contracts with private prison conglomerates such as Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group Inc.
- End expedited removal of SIJS-Eligible Youth;
- Implement prosecutorial discretion policies for CBP, act to limit scope of CBP enforcement, including ending internal raids, and take action to end migrant deaths on the border;
- Renegotiate trade agreements to eliminate provisions that cause displacement of communities and increase economic pressure on people to migrate, and end negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership.
The Not 1 More Blue Ribbon Commission members include Jose Alvarado, Erika Andiola, Guadalupe Andiola, Hareth Andrade, Mario Andrade, Cecilia Sáenz Barrera, Eleazar Castellanos, Angelica Chazaro, Neidi Dominguez, Lourdes Hernandez, Angel Agustin Hernandez Gomez, Edgar Godoy Valladares, Ju Hong, Prerna Lal, Fanny Lopez, Yoselyn Madrid, Juan Jose Mangandi , Raymundo Mendoza, Maricela Muñoz, Jose Moreno, Shellion Parris, Jaime Reyes, Carlos Rojas Álvarez, Hector Ruiz, Erlin San Martin Gomez, Caesar Vargas, Rosa Ángela Velázquez, Maru Mora Villalpando, Tania Unzueta, Reyna Wences. Full bios with organizational affiliations are available here.