By the time Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano confirmed the shift in policy, it was hardly a surprise. In an August 18 letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and 21 other Democratic senators, Napolitano acknowledged that removing people from the country simply for being illegal immigrants was no longer an “enforcement priority” of the Obama administration.
Henceforth, the Department of Homeland Security would focus on deporting illegal aliens who are violent criminals, convicted felons, or repeat immigration-law violators. Those priorities would be fine and dandy if the secretary weren’t willing to leave the remainder—that is, the majority—of the illegal population alone.
Napolitano also indicated that federal immigration authorities aren’t going to do anything about illegal immigrants who would have benefited from the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors), a targeted amnesty that according to one estimate would have legalized 1.3 million people (not counting the parents of those the bill would have amnestied). That would be the same DREAM Act Congress specifically declined to pass, under both Democratic and Republican majorities.
“The President has said on numerous occasions that it makes no sense to expend our enforcement resources on low-priority cases,” Napolitano wrote. She also informed the sympathetic group of senators...