The Dallas Morning News has reported that in an attempt to deal with the massive backlog in the immigration courts in Texas the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has assigned five full time attorneys to review thousands of pending immigration court cases. This June, 23,000 of the 248,000 cases pending in immigration courts across the country are from Texas.
The DHS is moving to dismiss cases that involve aliens who have no serious criminal record. The general guidelines provide for DHS attorneys to move to dismiss cases for aliens who have been physically present in the U.S. two or more years and have no felony convictions.
The end result is that individuals whose case is dismissed will be in immigration limbo. They will have no legal status in the United States, but will no longer face the prospect of deportation unless the DHS elects to reinstitute deportation proceedings against them.
The next question becomes will the dismissal of their case be interpreted by the DHS as constituting a parole that would enable the alien to apply for adjustment of status (their Green Card) if they were barred due to entering the United States without inspection or admission.
If this is the case there may be some credence to the argument that this is a back door amnesty for individuals who have qualifying relatives in the United States who have sponsored them for lawful permanent residency, but who are otherwise ineligible for adjustment of status.
It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.
Click here to read more of the Dallas Morning News Story.