Enforcement of Immigration Law
Amid Hispanic calls for immigration leniency, the US Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency is scrapping a program that allowed specially trained state and local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law.
On Dec. 21, the Friday before Christmas, ICE announced that it has decided "not to renew any of its agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies that operate task forces under the 287(g) program."
ICE said it has concluded that "other enforcement programs, including Secure Communities, are a more efficient use of resources for focusing on priority cases."
Under Secure Communities, the federal officials -- not state or local law enforcement officers -- decide what immigration enforcement action, if any, is appropriate.
The Obama administration in 2009 weakened the 287(g) program by directing state and local police not to arrest many of the illegal immigrants with whom they came into contact.
Instead of allowing local police to arrest people simply on suspicion of being in the United States illegally, the Obama administration established categories of illegal aliens who are a “priority for arrest and detention.”
Those priorities include aliens who have broken criminal laws, are national security threats, recent border-crossers, repeat immigration law violators, or fugitives from immigration court.
According to a fact sheet on its website, ICE since 1996 has had as many as 57 active 287(g) partnerships in 21 states and has trained and certified more than 1,300 officers to enforce federal immigration law.
Also on Dec. 21, ICE issued a new policy restricting the use of detainers against suspected illegal aliens who have been arrested or convicted of minor traffic violations or other petty offenses. ICE said this will allow it to devote its resources to apprehending felons and other priority individuals.
ICE uses detainers to identify and ultimately deport criminal aliens who are currently in federal, state or local jails or prisons. The detainer informs law enforcement agencies that ICE intends to assume custody of an individual being held by that law enforcement agency...
ICE says it deported 409,849 individuals in fiscal year 2012, more than half of them (55 percent) convicted of felonies or misdemeanors.
Twenty-four percent (96,828) of those removed from the US were repeat immigration violators or immigration fugitives; and 17 percent (69,957) were recent border-crossers. Four percent fell into the "other" category.
Of the 225,390 aliens (55 percent) with criminal violations, 1,215 were convicted of homicide; 5,557 were convicted of sexual offenses; 40,448 aliens were convicted of crimes involving drugs; and 36,166 were convicted of driving under the influence.
ICE said that 96 percent of the total 409,849 individuals deported in fiscal 2012 fell into one of ICE's enforcement priorities -- a record high, it said.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 12/26/2012
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