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Criteria to determine undocumented immigrants’ stay in USA

USA recently came up with a new immigration policy to address the prolonged issue of illegal immigration. According to these new policy immigrants with no criminal record and who are not a threat to public safety are allowed to apply for work permits and stay in the US (refer ‘Undocumented migrants with no criminal record can stay in US’). In step further toward the same, USA has come up with certain criteria upon which the eligibility of the immigrants will be judged.

In deciding whether an individual will be prosecuted or not, the guidelines proposed by John Morton, director of US Custom and Immigration Enforcement will be considered. Morton has listed some factors depending upon which the individual’s status in the US will be decided. These factors are:

  • the person’s length of presence in the United States;
  • the circumstances of the person’s arrival in the United States, particularly if the alien came to the United States as a young child;
  • the person’s pursuit of education in the United States, 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;
  • whether the person, or the person’s immediate relative, has served in the U.S. military, reserves, or national guard;
  • the person’s criminal history, including arrests, prior convictions, or outstanding arrest warrants;
  • the person’s ties and contributions to the community, including family relationships;
  • the person’s age, with particular consideration given to minors and the elderly;
  • whether the person has a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, child, or parent;
  • whether the person is the primary caretaker of a person with a mental or physical disability, minor, or seriously ill relative;
  • whether the person or the person’s spouse is pregnant or nursing

Morton, however, cautions that the above list is not exhaustive and just one factor cannot decide whether a person will stay or go. Eligibility on all the factors is mandatory for a person to remain in the USA.

Backing the guidelines proposed by Morton, Cecilia Munoz, the White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs wrote on White House blog, “There are more than 10 million people who are in the U.S. illegally; it’s clear that we can’t deport such a large number. So the Administration has developed a strategy to make sure we use those resources in a way that puts public safety and national security first.”

In deciding who to deport, Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department will apply ‘common sense guidelines,' wrote Munoz.

The new immigration policy is designed to make better use of limited immigration-enforcement resources and to help ease overburdened immigration courts.

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