According to a recent Houston Chronicle report, the Department of Homeland Security is reviewing "pending immigration cases and moving to dismiss those filed against suspected illegal immigrants who have no serious criminal records." Naturally, conservative media are outraged, claiming that this represents "backdoor amnesty for illegal aliens." This morning on Fox, Steve Doocy said:
DOOCY: Yeah, it looks like this could be a backdoor way toward amnesty for thousands of people. But what is ultimately the message here? Hey come on in, come on in, live in the country illegally because even if you are arrested, and the threat of deportation -- they're not going to do it if you don't have a criminal record.
Here are the facts that Fox didn't mention:
It's not complicated. There are limits on the number of people our immigration system is able to process and remove. Given the choice of whether to spend those limited resources on the removal of non-criminal immigrants or criminal immigrants, DHS wants to ensure that they're removing those who could be dangerous. This isn't a new idea. A GAO report written during the Bush Administration states that ICE officers prioritized "those who pose a threat to national security or public safety."