Bush immigration enforcement policies ineffective: FOIA documents

[JURIST] US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] documents [text, PDF] obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [5 U.S.C. § 552 text; JURIST news archive] show that Bush administration immigration enforcement tactics were both overly-aggressive and ineffective, the Cardozo School of Law's Immigration Justice Clinic [official website] said [text] Wednesday. The documents show that in 2006 ICE policy increased arrest quotas from 125 to 1000 per year and eliminated a previous requirement that 75 percent of arrests must be "criminal aliens." The documents also indicate a significant increase in the ratio of non-criminal to criminal immigrants arrested by ICE since the changes were instituted. Clinic director Peter Markowitz said the Bush administration's efforts failed by their own standards:

ICE’s home raids have primarily led to the arrests of individuals who posed no risk to society and have come at a significant cost to immigrant families and to ICE’s own enforcement priorities. ... ICE has created tremendous bureaucratic incentives for fugitive operation teams to abandon focus on high priority targets in favor of a shotgun approach of undisciplined home raids.
Also Wednesday, the Migration Policy Institute [advocacy website] released a report [text, PDF] on ICE fugitive operation teams and concluded that despite an increased budget, they have not met their goal of arresting dangerous individuals.

Recently-appointed Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano [official profile] has issued a directive [text] calling for review and assessment of the ICE fugitive operation teams. ICE has arrested [JURIST report] many non-criminal illegal immigrants in the past year, many of whom were imprisoned [JURIST report]. In April, Seton Hall Law School's Center for Social Justice filed a lawsuit [Star-Ledger report] claiming that warrantless immigration raids violate the US Constitution.

 

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