The Congressional Hispanic Caucus wants the Department of Homeland Security to use “all legal means available” to slow deportation by deferring potential deportations of immigrants who would get legal status under an immigration bill approved by the Senate, among other things.
The caucus approved a list of recommendations Thursday on what actions DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson could consider to carry out President Barack Obama’s directive to make sure immigration enforcement policies are being applied humanely.
Caucus members are to meet with Johnson next Thursday with the memo that is more a list of proposals than demands. The meeting comes as pressure is mounting on Obama from within his base of supporters to use executive authority to halt deportations while waiting on the House to move on immigration reform.
According to a draft of the memo, obtained by NBCNews.com, the recommendations of the caucus, all Democrats, include:
_ Expand deportation deferrals to workers and families who would benefit from legalization measures in the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill and are not security or public risks.
_ Extend parole in place to more people. The administration extended this to family members of military personnel.
_ Allow family who have been forced out of the country to return to the U.S. under humanitarian parole, which would allow them to pursue legal residence.
_ Allow young immigrants with deportation deferrals, temporary protected status, asylum or refugee status to enlist in the military.
The caucus also suggests DHS clarify the definition of extreme hardship that allows waivers of deportation; refine priority levels used to rank people for deportation; limit deportations without hearings and end programs known as 287(g) and Secure Commuinities that involve local officials in immigration enforcement.
First published April 3 2014, 4:13 PM
Suzanne Gamboa is a senior writer for NBCNews.com. She started in January 2014. Gamboa is responsible for editing, reporting and writing stories about Latinos and how the population's expansion is reshaping the U.S. Gamboa joined NBCNews.com from NBC Latino, where she was political editor, responsible for writing, editing and assigning political coverage.
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Prior to her role at NBC Latino, Gamboa had worked 13 years in the Washington, D.C. bureau of The Associated Press, where she covered politics, immigration and border and U.S.-Mexico issues, veterans, the Texas congressional delegation and most recently race and ethnicity, a beat she helped build. She also worked at the AP in Texas and at the Austin American-Statesman.
Gamboa lives in Washington, D.C.