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Advocates urge the Obama administration to change it's deportation policies

(Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Immigration advocates are calling on the Obama administration to scale back efforts to deport some undocumented immigrants in Michigan.

The Alliance for Immigrants Rights and Reform held news conferences across the state today.   The group says the Obama administration is continuing policies that break up families.

Father Fred Thelen is the pastor of Cristo Rey Church in Lansing.    He say the Obama administration’s use of “prosecutorial discretion” in immigration cases is uneven.

“I’ve seen one family recently who was given prosecutorial discretion…the father was able to stay here with the kids,”   says Thelen,   “Other cases who are facing deportation who should be allowed to stay and great disappointment with those.”

The Obama administration made adjustments to its deportation policies last year.

A Syracuse University study found the number of deportation proceedings declined after the policy change.

Republicans complain the Obama administration is opening the “backdoor” to amnesty for illegal immigrants with its deportation policy.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.