This Date in Obama’s Administrative Amnesty: June 27, 2011

This Date in Obama's Administrative AmnestyThree years ago on this date, a Houston Chronicle story exposed senior government officials for attempting to cover-up policies to dismiss hundreds of legitimate immigration cases.  Despite outright denials, the Chronicle published internal e-mails and memoranda uncovering the lenient prosecutorial policy of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Particularly egregious were efforts by the Houston Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office to get its own agents to drop immigration charges against aliens.  In August of 2010, the Houston Office’s Chief Counsel Gary Goldman wrote an internal memo requesting that ICE attorneys review their immigration case files. Goldman suggested that because the Obama Administration placed a priority on removing aliens who pose national security and public safety risks or who are fugitives, ICE should dismiss cases charging aliens with other crimes. (See also Morton Memos)

Subsequently, ICE attorneys in Houston filed a wave of motions to dismiss cases and requested judges to terminate removal proceedings. The Houston media took notice, and started shedding light on this lenient policy. Media coverage and scrutiny by United States Senators followed.  Panic set in at DHS, culminating in Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Nelson Peacock telling U.S. Senators that the Goldman memo simply “does not exist.”

It did exist, and Chronicle journalists found it.  Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the Chronicle requested and obtained a copy of the memo in question, and other e-mail correspondence about an August 2010 ICE Houston office meeting where the plan to dismiss cases was discussed. Additional e-mails reveal that only after the media coverage did Goldman rescind his memo.  In addition, a staff member who initially supported the Goldman memo expressed concern that Goldman “overlooked” other areas of immigration enforcement.

For more immigration laws that have been “overlooked,” see FAIR’s President Obama’s Record of Dismantling Immigration Enforcement.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    I’ve Said This Before

    Ya wanna get out of jury duty?

    Just bring up articles like this that our judicial system is flawed and unfair. The judges would send you home immediately, no questions asked.

  2. avatar

    This is just one example of many as to why we are where we are now. The fact that almost none of these young border crossers will be sent back, in spite of White House spin, is part and parcel of what amnesty talk in general is producing. Because many of the relatives of the young border crossers are here illegally themselves, but ICE will not take them into custody even when that status is known.

    Combine that with all the talk of the last three months by this administration and it’s supporters that either the House passes amnesty or the president will do it unilaterally through executive action, and there simply is no downside for illegals to be paying smuggling gangs to bring their children to our southern border. If the adult illegals expected that there was a good chance that they themselves would be sent back, they would not be bothering to pay many thousands of dollars to the smugglers. But that is not happening, in spite of the “record deportations” lie.

    The illegals know what the American media apparently does not know, either through deliberate omission or failing to do more than repeat talking points. The illegals are quite aware that most deportation cases are being closed for no reason. The only way we are going to stop this invasion of young people, with or without their parents accompanying them, is to announce that there will be no more releases into this country. You are kept in custody until your case is heard. It will cause a big uproar among the usual “advocates”, but all we are doing now is incentivizing illegal entry. And the numbers will only mushroom if we don’t. Our “broken system” is broken because we don’t enforce the law.