Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New ICE Numbers Reveal Need for Revised Definition of 'Criminal'

February 18, 2010 |
Immigration Impact / By Travis Packer



A new report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) released last week reveals that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is beginning to detain more criminal immigrants as opposed to non-criminal immigrants, which is in line with ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton’s stated goal.

The numbers, however, aren’t so black and white when you examine how ICE defines criminality. ICE currently classifies “criminals" as persons found guilty of minor violations of law such as traffic offenses, disorderly conduct, as well as immigrations violations such as illegal entry. While the report, which covers the first three months of Fiscal Year 2010, hints that the growing proportion of criminal detainees is the result of revised detention policies under the Obama administration, the report begs the questions of who we’re locking up, why and at what expense.

Read the rest of the report here.

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