The directive clarified the “Morton Memo” released last June which listed some factors ICE officers, agents and attorneys should consider when apprehending, detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants.
Many immigrant advocate groups welcomed ICE’s new policy, which is intended to focus deportations on high-level criminal offenders. But gay binational couples and their advocates are up in arms because the new guidelines do not specify gay unauthorized immigrants married or partnered to American citizens as deportation cases that should be “carefully considered for prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis” by ICE .
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), released the following statement Thursday:
I am very concerned by the Administration’s failure to state in its written Guidance to ICE attorneys, released today, that families of LGBT binational couples should be treated equally, like all other families in America. While I appreciate prior commitments by DHS that LGBT family ties will be taken into account in immigration enforcement decisions — and that this will be explained to ICE agents — without such a directive in writing, there is a serious risk that such families could be wrongfully divided. With the Administration taking an otherwise positive step to make immigration enforcement fairer, it is extremely frustrating that families of LGBT binational couples remain at risk. I will be working to ensure that those families are also protected.
Full story here