Union fight slows immigration reform

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- President Obama's call for a review of pending immigration cases in the United States and reform the deportation process has run up against union resistance.

Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement John Morton has called for all ICE agents to prioritize the 300,000 pending deportation cases, starting with people who have committed crimes.

"If you're having to decide between putting someone who's lived in this country for a very, very long time, or somebody who's committed a crime, start with the person who has committed a crime," Morton said.

Although the number of deportations is not likely to change, Morton said, who stays and who goes will.

But CBS News reported Sunday the effort is being slowed by a union representing immigration agents.

Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council, the union that represents ICE agents, called the order "operationally next to impossible" because agents cannot be expected to check the backgrounds of every illegal immigrant.

Morton said despite the opposition from the union, the policy is moving forward. He said an agreement with the union could be reached by the end of January so the policy can be fully implemented.

The Obama administration has deported 1.6 million people, more than any previous administration, CBS said.

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