Sunday, September 13, 2020

Back to Business as Usual: After a Pandemic Pause, ICE Resumes Deportation Arrests

Miriam Jordan for the New York Times reports that "[t]he Trump administration says it is targeting criminals, but government data suggests that many others are getting caught up in [the recent} immigration sweeps" that returned as the pandemic continues.  

Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) emphasizes that its removal efforts target "criminal aliens."  President Obama himself made similar claims as his administration remove hundreds of thousands of noncitizens from the United States each year.  The truth is much more complex, with many relatively minor criminals caught up in the dragnet.

"About 85 percent of those arrested either had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges, according to the agency. Fourteen people had been convicted of homicide, and 12 faced murder charges. Assault, domestic violence and “family offenses” comprised the bulk of convictions or pending charges, it said.

But analysis of the totality of the government’s own data shows that the administration is arresting large numbers of undocumented immigrants whose crimes are minor, or who have not committed any crime at all. These immigrants are easier to locate and remove precisely because they are not trying to evade law enforcement, even if they have outstanding deportation orders." (bold added).

The same was the case in the Obama years.

And, not surprisingly, more than 90% of the noncitizens removed are Latina/o.  The Latina/o percentage of the immigrant population is much less.  The Latinx removal pipeline from state criminal justice to removal remains operating efficiently.


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