This Date in Obama’s Administrative Amnesty: Morton Memo #2

This Date in Obama's Administrative AmnestyIn a calculated move to bypass Congress, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton issued a  memo on June 17, 2011 directing ICE agents to refrain from enforcing U.S. immigration laws against illegal aliens who meet the qualifications for amnesty under the DREAM Act. In this memo (Morton Memo #2), Director Morton couches this administrative amnesty as merely providing “guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion to ensure that the agency’s immigration enforcement resources are focused on the agency’s enforcement priorities.” The memo lists 19 different factors (non-exclusive) agents should consider when deciding whether to take an illegal alien into custody, including:

  • The circumstances of the person’s arrival in the U.S. and the manner of his or her entry, particularly if the alien came to the U.S. as a young child;
  • The alien’s pursuit of education in the U.S., with particular consideration given to those who have graduated from a U.S. high school or have successfully pursued or are pursuing a college or advanced degrees at a legitimate institution of higher education in the U.S.;
  • Whether the person has served in the U.S. military, reserves, or national guard, with particular consideration given to those who served in combat; and
  • The person’s age, with particular consideration given to minors.

But Director Morton was not done implementing amnesty by executive fiat on this day, as he issued a second policy memo (Morton Memo #3), directing ICE agents to refrain from enforcing immigration laws against crime victims, witnesses to crimes, and “individuals pursuing legitimate civil rights complaints.” However, his directive is much broader. In particular, he instructs ICE personnel to consider individuals engaging in a protected activity related to civil or other rights (for example, union organizing or complaining to authorities about employment discrimination or housing conditions) who may be in a non-frivolous dispute with an employer, landlord, or contractor. In the absence of “serious adverse factors”—which include a “serious criminal history,” involvement in a “serious crime” or being a “threat to public safety”—Morton told agents that “exercising favorable discretion, such as release from detention and deferral or a stay of removal generally, will be appropriate.”

Read more at FAIR’s President Obama’s Record of Dismantling Immigration Enforcement.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. Pingback: This Date in Obama’s Administrative Amnesty: June 23, 2011

  2. avatar

    A report by the South Florida Regional Planning Council this month found that South Florida ranked no. 1 among the 150 largest metro areas for the “housing burden” on those owning or renting. Burden is defined as spending more than 30% of income on housing. The report also found average incomes were “flat or shrinking”. South Florida is heavily populated, and becoming more so, with immigrants from the Caribbean. It happens all over the country, California, New York, Florida, heavily immigrant areas with spiraling housing prices. Neil Diamond sang about Los Angeles in I Am I Said back in the 70s: “Palm trees grow and rents are low”. Not now, not after four decades of unrelenting immigration.

    Another recent nationwide report found that motorists spent an extra 832 dollars in fuel costs sitting in traffic jams. Hello? Los Angeles where if frequently takes two hours to go ten miles? But let’s pass “reform” and double our legal immigration to 2 million or more a year and add guest workers on top of that. It won’t benefit our middle class,which is no longer the wealthiest in the world, falling behind several other countries. It will benefit big business by depressing wages. But a lot of you liberals are happy to do the work of the pro immigration US Chamber of Commerce.