In an attempt to refocus immigration enforcement on individuals “who have committed serious crimes, are threats to public safety, are recent unauthorized entrants, or have recent deportation orders,” and away from “those undocumented who have been here for years, committed no serious crimes, and have in effect become integrated members of society,” the Department of Homeland Security issued new policy guidelines on November 20, 2014 for immigration enforcement.
The Migration Policy Institute conducted a study examining this policy and estimates that strict adherence to the guidelines will reduce interior removals by 25,000 cases a year. This conclusion is based on the estimate that only 13 percent (about 1.4 million) of the estimated unauthorized population of 11 million fall within one of the priority categories in the current guidelines. By contrast, the study estimates that 27 percent (3 million) would have been priorities under previous guidelines. While strict adherence to these guidelines would temporarily deprioritize the deportation of the 87% of undocumented immigrants that do not fall under the new categorization, it is a temporary solution to a much needed, long term legalization legislation.