Tag Archives: Deportation and Detention

How Immigration Enforcement Works (or Doesn’t) in Real Life

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A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies, “Deportation Basics: How Immigration Enforcement Works (or Doesn’t) in Real Life,” discusses the ground-level process of what is now called “removal proceedings” and the issues that surround it. The report is available at here. Among the findings:

•A large percentage of aliens flee from removal proceedings – perhaps as many as 59 percent of all those released to await hearings. On a cost basis from the alien’s perspective, this makes sense. If you are in proceedings and have little chance of relief, why not treat the bond money (if it’s even required) as the cost of having been caught, and then flee, hoping to stay under the radar for as long as possible, perhaps until the next amnesty?

•Though fashionable in the Obama administration, the exercise of “prosecutorial discretion” is problematic for ICE field officers. If the alien that they decline to remove goes on to commit a heinous act, they could be subject to lawsuits from victims and will be held accountable by their own agency (even if agency leadership encourages them to use the tool).

•Even in today’s technology-driven world, charging an alien with immigration violations is a paperwork-intensive, cumbersome process that requires agents to fill out nearly 20 different forms each time.

•ICE officers are supposed to consider two key factors in determining whether to detain or release an alien in proceedings – if the alien is a flight risk and if he is a risk to the community. The latter factor obviously is given serious consideration, but it is equally obvious from the large number of absconders that officers don’t give the same weight to the likelihood of flight, especially considering the scarcity of funded detention space.

•The option of Voluntary Return, where the alien requests to be returned home in lieu of formal removal proceedings, is not really “voluntary,” but is beneficial to the alien because it carries fewer consequences if the alien returns illegally. It also has become subject to overuse or misuse in recent years as a tool to increase the volume of removals, at the expense of more formal methods of removal that have more deterrent value.

•Immigration law provides for seven ways to remove an alien, which are explained in the report. Four of these options are relatively efficient, but used less frequently. If ICE chose to expand their use, the workload of the immigration court could be reduced and the immigration enforcement system would be less dysfunctional.

•The total number of apprehensions of illegal aliens by immigration enforcement agencies is less than half of what it was five years ago. For instance, the drop in apprehensions by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is often explained by improvements in border security; however, this rationale is suspect, as has been pointed out by the Rand Corp. in a study of border metrics. But ICE apprehensions also have dropped steeply, although there has been only a modest drop in the size of the illegal population inside the United States.

Fingerprint sharing led to deportation of 47,000

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Records show that about 47,000 people have been removed or deported from the U.S. after the Homeland Security Department sifted through 3 million sets of fingerprints taken from bookings at local jails. About one-quarter of those kicked out of the country did not have criminal records, according to government data obtained by immigration advocacy groups…Continue Reading

Firearm Offenses, Deportation & Inadmission

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Certain firearm offenses will result in deportation. INA Section 237(a)(2)(C) states that “any alien who at any time after admission is convicted under law of purchasing, selling, offering for sale, exchanging, using, owning, possessing, or carrying, or of attempting or conspiring to purchase, sell, offer for sale, exchange, use, own, possess, or carry, any weapon,…Continue Reading