Exposing Hillary So She Won't Get Elected

Trump Targets Illegal Immigrants Who Obama Stopped from Getting Deported

In September 2014, Gilberto Velasquez, a 38-year-old house painter from El Salvador, received life-changing new: the U.S. government decided to shelve its deportation action against him.

The move was part of a policy change initiated by then-President Barack Obama in 2011 to pull away from deporting immigrants who formed deep ties in the United States and whom the government didn’t consider to be a threat. Instead, the administration prioritized  illegal immigrants who committed serious crimes.

Last month, things changed again for the painter, who has lived in the United States illegally since 2005 and had a U.S.-born child. He received news that the government wished to put his deportation case back on the court calendar, citing another shift in priorities, this time by President Donald Trump.

The Trump administration has been moving hundreds of illegal immigrants who, like Velasquez, had been given a reprieve from deportation, according to government data and court documents reviewed by Reuters and interviews with immigration lawyers.

Trump noted in January that he planned to widen the net of illegal immigrants targeted for deportation, but his administration hasn’t publicized its efforts to reopen immigration cases.

This represents just one of the first concrete examples of the crackdown promised by Trump and it is likely to ignite fears among thousands of illegal immigrants who thought they were protected from deportation.

While cases were reopened during the Obama administration as well, it was generally only if an immigrant had committed a serious crime, immigration attorneys say. The Trump administration has sharply increased the number of cases it is asking the courts to reopen, and its targets appear to include at least some people who have not committed any crimes since their cases were closed.

Between March 1 and May 31, prosecutors moved to reopen 1,329 cases, according to a Reuters’ analysis of data from the Executive Office of Immigration Review, or EOIR. The Obama administration filed 430 similar motions during the same period in 2016.