Michele Waslin: Until we have comprehensive immigration reform, ICE is going to be saddled with an enormous list of targets, and many people watching to see how they’re going to tackle it. If they want big numbers, they can achieve big numbers. But that won’t make us any safer or make the system any better. In any case the Administration and ICE have to figure out what their enforcement strategy is, articulate it clearly and consistently, and resist the urge to change it on a dime to please “enforcement-only” types who will never support comprehensive reform.
Michele Waslin: Of course, identifying and removing dangerous criminal threats must be a priority for ICE. However, time and time again data show that their methods for prioritizing these individuals are flawed and have negative consequences for noncriminals who get caught in the system.
Andrea Christina Nill: According to a report published by Jacqueline Stevens in this week’s The Nation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is confining an unknown number of people in 186 secret, unmarked, and unlisted subfield offices. Since the subfield offices are designed to hold detainees in transit, they are not subject to ICE Detention Standards. As a result, Stevens claims ICE has essentially been able to hold individuals charged with a civil infraction in “conditions approaching those no longer authorized for accused terrorists.”
Our broken immigration system gives unscrupulous employers an incentive to hire unauthorized workers and exploit them—often resulting in depressed wages and working conditions for all workers in that workplace.
While improvements to the detention system are necessary and welcomed, it is important to recognize that detaining immigrants is not a long-term solution to a broken immigration system.
In the end, 200,000 non-citizens are deported every year and separated from their families, even if the judge believes they should stay.
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Earlier this month, U.S. citizen, Irving Palomo, was detained and put in a van headed for Mexico due to an ICE mix-up. A few months ago Mark Lyttle, a U.S. citizen who suffers from mild retardation, was deported to Mexico. Mexican officials then deported him to Honduras, and Honduras deported him to Guatemala. After spending […]
This past weekend, at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his commitment to reforming the broken U.S. immigration system. Obama met with the Central American Integration System (Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana), and was “especially receptive” to the requests coming from the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, […]