(FOXNews.com) - Federal authorities have issued a new policy aimed at stopping deportation proceedings for some illegal immigrants, according to a memo issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The memo, which ICE released on Aug. 20, could affect up to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who are married or related to a U.S. citizen or a legal resident who has filed a petition on their behalf. Illegal immigrants with criminal convictions will not qualify under the plan. ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton wrote the memo to Peter Vincent, principal legal adviser and head of the agency's removal operations.
The memo directs ICE attorneys to check cases of detained illegal immigrants for any "serious" or "adverse" factors weighing against dismissal, including criminal convictions, fraud, national security and public safety considerations.