More Auntie Zeituni news: Bush administration lifted rule. But why?

Update Feb. 3rd:  More here on Auntie.

Updating the news from earlier today, the Associated Press now tells us:

The Bush administration quietly withdrew in the weeks after Barack Obama’s election a new rule requiring high-level approval before federal agents nationwide could arrest fugitive immigrants. The future for Obama’s aunt, who had been living in the country illegally, will be determined at an immigration court hearing in April.

…The directive from Immigration and Customs Enforcement expressed concerns about “negative media or congressional interest,” according to a newly disclosed federal document obtained by The Associated Press. The department lifted the immigration order weeks later, on Nov. 26.

And then on December 17 a judge stayed Auntie’s deportation order, and reopened her asylum case on December 30. Her hearing will be April 1 in Boston.

ICE, the immigration agency, doesn’t seem to know what it’s doing.

The immigration directive was lifted weeks after the election, according to an internal e-mail provided Monday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE spokeswoman Kelly Nantel previously had told the AP the directive was still in place, and the White House told the AP late Sunday that Obama would consider whether to overturn it.

And does anyone have an explanation why the order was put in place at all and then lifted? It seemed that Bush wanted to spare Obama possible embarrassment, but then why lift the order?

The AP article is on the MSNBC web site and has a number of links to previous stories on Auntie Zeituni, including the Obama campaign’s reaction to the first news about her.

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