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Homeland Security touts record immigration crackdown

From the archive: This story is more than 10 years old.

Homeland Security touts record immigration crackdown

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Nearly 400,000 people were removed from the U.S. during the past year, and about half were criminals, according an Immigration and Customs Enforcement press release.

The 392,862 removals by ICE falls short of the agency's goal of 400,000 for the 2010 fiscal year, according to The Associated Press.

The fiscal year 2010 statistics represent increases of more than 23,000 removals overall and 81,000 criminal removals compared to fiscal year 2008.

Of the 195,000 convicted criminals apprehended in fiscal year 2010:

• More than 1,000 aliens were convicted of homicide
• Nearly 6,000 aliens were guilty of sex offenses
• Nearly than 45,000 aliens were convicted for drugs offenses
• Nearly 28,000 aliens were convicted for driving under the influence

The Orange County Register reports:

Immigrant rights groups contend that information from internal government documents on the Secure Communities program contradict the new statistics.

". . . ICE's own records show that 79 percent of people deported due to S-Comm are not criminals or were picked up for lower level offenses," according to a statement issued by Center for Constitutional Rights.

". . . The program serves as a smokescreen for racial profiling, allowing police officers to stop people based solely on their appearance and arrest non-citizens, knowing that they will be deported, even if they were wrongfully arrested and are never convicted.

"Preliminary data confirms that some jurisdictions, such as Maricopa County, have abnormally high rates of non-criminal S-Comm deportations,'' the statement said.

In addition, ICE also charged 180 owners, employers, managers and/or supervisors – up from 135 in FY 2008 and 114 in FY 2009, levying about $50 million in fines.

In April 2009, Secretary Janet Napolitano announced changes to ICE’s worksite enforcement strategy – which reduced the need for large-scale immigration enforcement actions where employees were arrested and instead focused on finding evidence to criminally charge employers and to increase the use of tools like audits, fines and debarment.

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