Bush immigration enforcement policies ineffective: FOIA documents

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.