Despite the public outcry in the aftermath of the murder of Kathryn Steinle by an illegal immigrant, the Obama administration is moving forward with a policy to protect more illegal immigrants from deportation.
The Obama administration is putting forward a new immigration enforcement program that will shield up to 87 percent of illegal aliens from Immigration and Custom Enforcement, according to a report published Thursday by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group based in Washington.
MPI's report stated that only 13 percent or 1.4 million people of illegal immigrants will be prioritized for deportation because they either have crossed the border recently or possess criminal records. The administration announced these guidelines in November, but only put them into effect on July 1.
Under these new guidelines, there will likely be a drop in overall deportations from inside the country by as much as 25,000 illegal aliens annually. But the report also stated that there could be an increase in deportations of immigrants who have past convictions of a serious crime, pose a national security threat, or were caught crossing the border.
The New York Times reported that the administration's change in approach was done to improve cooperation with sanctuary cities like San Francisco where Steinle was killed.
Republican lawmakers are stunned by President Obama's new approach and have been hurling criticism at it.
"(The new program) have turned the flight from enforcement into a headlong rush,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee told The New York Times.
House and Senate Republicans are working with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to craft legislation that will punish sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with immigration enforcement. Obama has already threatened to veto any such legislation.