DHS secretary reevaluating deportation priorities

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 9, 2014 at 10:46 am •  Published: April 9, 2014
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday he's re-evaluating the Obama administration's deportation priorities to make certain they're focused on national security, public safety and border security, amid growing pressure from the Latino community and President Barack Obama's fellow Democrats.

Johnson spoke Wednesday after a closed-door meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which has been pressuring the administration to scale back the high number of deportations since Obama took office. The number now stands near 2 million.

Activists contend many people are deported who pose no threat, have little or no criminal record, and are being sent away even if they have entrenched families in the U.S.

With comprehensive immigration legislation stalled in the House, activists are increasingly looking to Obama for a solution. The president announced last month that Johnson would be conducting a review to see if deportation practices can be more humane.

That review is now under way. Johnson gave no hint of a timetable or ultimate conclusions in his brief remarks to reporters Wednesday, but he did indicate he's learning of issues with the current system, which the Obama administration has defended.