Monday, August 7, 2017

ICE Carries Out Second-Largest Deportation Sweep of the Year

In four days at the end of July, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained 650 immigrants in the agency’s  largest series of raids since it made 680 arrests in February. Focused on the bizarre reality show in the White House, US media generally gave the latest sweep little coverage.

The ostensible purpose of the raids was bad enough: it was a continuation of the Obama administration’s sweeps last year targeting asylum seekers who had fled violence in Central America as minors or in family groups. But the great majority of the people actually detained weren’t in the targeted group; it appears that some 70 percent may just have been immigrants ICE agents encountered during the sweep. As usual, the government tried to bill the raids as an effort to rid the country of “criminal aliens,” but most of the people detained didn’t have criminal records. In typically misleading language, ICE justified its arrest of 38 minors by claiming that they “were at least 16 and had criminal histories and/or suspected gang ties” (emphasis added). (An ICE memo indicates that tattoos and hanging out in areas with gangs were enough to make a teen a suspected gang member.)

As Vox’s Dara Lind points out, this was the last major ICE operation before Gen. John Kelly left Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to become President Trump’s chief of staff. Commentators have been describing Kelly as a reasonable man who might bring the White House under control. Actually, what he did at DHS was the opposite of bringing people under control. He “unshackled” ICE agents who during the Obama administration had been pressured to limit detentions to groups like immigrants with criminal records. Now ICE agents seem to be free to pad out their arrest records by detaining any undocumented immigrants they happen to run into. It makes their jobs a lot easier.—TPOI editor

ICE announces results of Operation Border Guardian/Border Resolve

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Press Release
August 1, 2017
WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) deportation officers apprehended 650 individuals during a four-day operation last week, Operation Border Guardian/Border Resolve, which targeted individuals who entered the country as unaccompanied alien children (UACs) and family units.

This operation was the second iteration of Operation Border Guardian/Border Resolve which first took place in January and February 2016 in response to the significant spike in families and UACs from Central America attempting to illegally cross the southern border.[...]

Read the full press release:

US deportation raids under Trump lead to huge rise in arrests of immigrants without criminal records
The rise comes even though immigration agencies in the US have a stated priority to target 'criminal aliens'

By Clark Mindock, The Independent
August 2, 2017
US immigration officers have arrested 650 people in communities across the US in the latest deportation sweep, but the vast majority of those picked up by law enforcement don’t have a criminal record — an apparent break from the organization’s stated priority to focus on “criminal aliens”.

In a crackdown that came close in size to a large-scale sweep earlier this year, Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 650 people over a four-day span last month, including 38 minors. Of that group, though, 520 had no criminal record, compared to just 170 people who had no criminal records and were arrested in the earlier crackdowns.[…]

Read the full article:

What John Kelly's final ICE raid tells us about Trump's new chief of staff
Seventy percent of immigrants ICE arrested weren’t the people ICE was supposedly targeting.

By Dara Lind, Vox
August 2, 2017
Immigration and Customs Enforcement launched a nationwide sweep — ostensibly designed to catch Central Americans who’d come to the US as family units — in late July. But according to the press release they sent out Tuesday, 70 percent of the immigrants they captured were merely collateral damage.

The statement said that of the 650 immigrants nationwide, fewer than 200 of those people were actually targeted in the operation: 73 members of family units, and 120 (former) unaccompanied children. The other 457 people — nearly three-quarters of those caught up in the sweeps — were simply “also apprehended” and arrested.

This is a stunning admission from the Trump administration. Even in the most generous accounting, that means more than half of the immigrants picked up in last week’s ICE raids hadn’t been targeted and didn’t have criminal records.[…]

Read the full article:

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