Hispanic Lawmakers Prepare Wish List on Deportations

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, 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.