A new immigration court program that will allow the courts to review and prioritize deportation cases has been happening in other U.S. cities – but this summer, the program is coming to Los Angeles, California. During a two-week period, from July 9-20, many immigration cases involving people who are not in detention will be put on hold so the courts can review those who are detained and up for deportation.
The closure of the courts aligns with President Barack Obama’s call to review (and complete) many deportation cases and place a heavy focus on cases involving people with a criminal background. Three major factors will play a role in determining deportation: if the person is a veteran, is a college student or came into the country as a child, they may be freed of the deportation process.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement backing the emphasis placed on high-priority cases. “Today’s announcement of the expansion of the pilot program that began late last year will free additional ICE resources to complete the review and will heighten the administration’s focus on priority aliens,” she said.
Baltimore and Denver were the first two cities to utilize the program. Those cities began the review towards the end of 2011 – but Seattle, New Orleans, Detroit and Orlando will begin the program on April 23 as it runs through May 4. New York (May 7-18) and San Francisco (Jun 4-15) will follow soon thereafter, with Los Angeles rounding out the program’s schedule.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Immigration courts will partially close for deportation review,” Paloma Esquivel, Mar. 30, 2012