Washington D.C. - Understanding the complexities of immigration law and its intersection with criminal law is not easy. Over the past month, a flood of reports about enforcement policies and deportation data have compounded the confusion. Some of these reports were clearly designed to derail genuine and productive conversations around immigration policy reform. Case in point, this week the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) issued a paper that claims over 36,000 “criminal aliens” were released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.
Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council releases No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse, by Daniel E. Martinez, Ph.D., Guillermo Cantor, Ph.D., and Walter A. Ewing, Ph.D., areport that analyzes complaints filed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection between 2009 and 2012. The analysis is based on information received through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation. The report examines one of the few avenues available for people to report mistreatment by Border Patrol agents - namely, the complaint system. For a long time, advocates and legal providers on the border have highlighted the flaws in the complaint system. This report is the first systematic attempt to document the problem in a rigorous way. In addition, a coalition of immigrants' rights groups has developed and released recommendations to DHS to address the CBP Complaint Process.
Washington D.C. – Today the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report that makes a range of false claims about deportation data. Following is a statement from Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, in response to “Catch and Release: Interior Immigration Enforcement in 2013”
“A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) makes a range of false claims about deportation data. First their claim that out of 722,000 “potentially deportable aliens” encountered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement only 195,000 were charged is completely misleading. As a result of dragnet programs like Secure Communities, any foreign-born individual that that comes into contact with law-enforcement likely falls into 722,000 number cited by CIS. Thus, this number includes immigrants (including long time permanent residents) whose interaction with law enforcement was so minor that they are not even legally subject to removal. In fact, that data likely includes U.S. citizens as well. CIS is essentially asserting that a legal-permanent resident or a recently naturalized citizen with a broken tail light should be charged by ICE and removed from the country although there is no basis in law for such action.
"The Obama Administration issued deferred deportation as an executive order two years ago. Since that time tens of thousands of undocumented young immigrants known as DREAMers have applied and just recently became eligible to renew their two-year deportation deferments.
A study released Monday by Harvard researchers Roberto Gonzálesand Angie M. Bautista-Chavez for the American Immigration Council found almost 60 percent of deferred deportation (DACA) recipients surveyed had been able to obtain new jobs, 45 percent had increased their earnings, and almost six-in-ten had obtained driver's licenses, broadening education and employment options."
The editorial stated: "If a Border Patrol agent beats, kicks, threatens or otherwise abuses you, you can file a complaint. What you can’t count on, evidently, is anything being done about it.
That is the sorry conclusion of a study released last week by the American Immigration Council, an advocacy organization in Washington. The council sought to collect data about abuse complaints against the Border Patrol — a difficult task, given the lack of transparency at Customs and Border Protection, the agency within the Department of Homeland Security to which the Border Patrol belongs.
The council had to sue under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain records of 809 complaints between January 2009 and January 2012. The accusations varied widely — of migrants kicked and stomped after being detained, struck in the face and head with flashlights and other objects, sexually groped, improperly strip-searched, verbally abused."
"The Immigration Policy Center notes that discretion can be used at any stage of an immigration case, from the apprehension phase – when it comes to stopping, questioning and arresting particular people, focusing resources on certain violations or conduct, or detaining people already in police custody or under supervision – to referring cases to courts to begin deportation proceedings. In most of the country, it appears that authorities rarely practice such discretion after proceedings are already opened: between October 2012 and March 2014, the group reports, ICE intervened to close only 6.7 percent of cases they’d earlier referred to the courts. The percentage varied widely by region; in Tucson and Seattle, it was around 30 percent."