Friday, July 19, 2019

ICE Fails to Target Serious Criminals in Immigration Court Filings

The Latest from TRAC  Immigration:  Despite the administration's rhetoric of deporting "criminals" from this country, the latest data from the Immigration Courts through June 2019 shows only 2.8 percent of recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filings based deportability claims on any alleged criminal activity. This is way down from the emphasis on deporting criminals that prevailed a decade ago. See Figure 1. 

Figure 1

Figure 1. Percent of Immigration Court Filings Seeking Removal Citing Criminal Activity
(Click for larger image)

Similarly, even the number of Immigration Court filings citing criminal grounds is way down. Despite the rising number of ICE interior arrests and individuals who are detained, fewer and fewer immigrants in the Immigration Court's growing workload are being cited as deportable based upon criminal activity. During the first nine months of FY 2019 only 7,458 cases have been lodged by DHS citing criminal activity as a basis for seeking the removal order. If this same pace continues for the remaining three months of the year, the total is still unlikely to reach 10,000. A decade or more ago immigrants with criminal records or alleged criminal activity involved 30,000 to 40,000 court filings each year.


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