New Obama Directive Aims to Safeguard the Rights of Undocumented Parents

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the implementation of “The Parental Interests Directive,” a new policy on immigration and deportations aimed at protecting parents and ensuring that they are not separated from their children. “ICE personnel should ensure that the agency’s immigration enforcement activities do not unnecessarily disrupt the parental rights of both alien parents or legal guardians of minor children,” the directive states. Under the new directive by the Obama administration, ICE agents are free to consider the background of the immigrant they are taking into custody and use their own discretion in detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants. Although the policy will not prevent family separation completely or change the lives of children who have already had family members deported, the policy change urges immigration authorities to consider alternatives to detention for undocumented immigrants when minor children are involved.

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