Turning the Tide on Deportations?

January 16, 2014

hands in handcuffsAULA Blog, 01/16/2014

U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) recently released statistics showing that deportations in fiscal year 2013 hit an all-time low since Obama took office in 2009, but the drop is apparently not yet a harbinger of a policy shift.  Removals fell slightly from a record high of 410,000 in 2012 to just under 370,000.  News of the first decline during Obama’s tenure comes as he has been under growing pressure from immigration advocates and some members of Congress to use his executive powers to bring removals to a halt.  But the slight decline can be attributed to several factors:

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Weekly News Summary: March 1st

March 1, 2013

Coffee by Flikr user samrevel

The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English-language press had to say…

This week, Elba Esther Gordillo, the powerful leader of the SNTE, Mexico’s teachers’ union was arrested for allegedly embezzling over $150 million in union funds to support her lavish lifestyle. The arrest shocked the nation and came only a day after President Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law a new education reform package. Many interpreted the move as an attempt by the Peña Nieto administration to reassert state authority over special interests, and as a warning to other industries (e.g. telecommunications and energy) that reform is on the way. NYT columnist Thomas Friedman gave much to talk about following two very optimistic pieces. He suggested Mexico will become a dominant economic power in the 21st century, and praised Mexico’s young ‘just do it’ generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. Pemex CEO Emilio Lozoya mirrored Mr. Friedman’s optimism by suggesting a reinvigorated energy sector will transform Mexico into the world’s “new Middle East.” Meanwhile, north of the border, looming automatic budget cuts prompted ICE to release several hundred low-risk immigrants from deportation centers across the country.

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Detained immigrants released; officials cite sequester cuts

February 28, 2013

Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement_arrestLos Angeles Times, 2/26/2013

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have released “several hundred” immigrants from deportation centers across the country, saying the move is an effort to cut costs ahead of budget cuts due to hit later this week. Announcing the news Tuesday, ICE officials said that the immigrants were released under supervision and continue to face deportation. After reviewing hundreds of cases, those released were considered low-risk and “noncriminal,” officials said.

The releases took place over the last week and were an effort “to ensure detention levels stay within ICE’s current budget,” said ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christiansen, citing uncertainty caused by a budget standoff in Washington. “All of these individuals remain in removal proceedings. Priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety,” she said.

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US, Mexico complete two-month trial to fly deportees deep into Mexico; future efforts unclear

December 6, 2012

The Washington Post, 12/5/2012

iceThe U.S. and Mexican governments have completed a two-month program to fly deportees deep into Mexico, and the U.S. is looking to the new administration of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on whether to continue the effort aimed at relieving overwhelmed Mexican border cities.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said 2,364 Mexican nationals flew on 18 flights during the trial period, all but three of them men. Nearly 2,000 had criminal convictions in the U.S.

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Program Tracks Arrests in Group of Immigrants

August 2, 2012

The New York Times, 7/31/12

Immigrants who were identified under a federal fingerprinting program as possibly being here illegally but who were not detained by immigration authorities were arrested again on more than 1,800 serious offenses, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service. The charges included 19 murders, 3 attempted murders and 142 sex crimes.

The report, released Tuesday by the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, analyzed arrests of immigrants whose fingerprints generated matches with federal databases under an Obama administration program called Secure Communities. The researchers focused on 159,286 immigrants who were arrested by state or local police, were not taken into custody by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcementagents and then were arrested again by the police.

Among those immigrants, the report identified 7,283 who were likely to have been in the country illegally at the time of the first arrest. They were arrested again on a total of 16,226 charges. While the majority were not for serious crimes, there were 1,105 charges for violent or major crimes, including the murder and sex charges, as well as 682 crimes described as burglary or theft and 48 firearms charges, according to the report. There were also 1,420 suspected drug violations.

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Obama Policy on Immigrants Is Challenged by Chicago

July 11, 2012

The New York Times,07/10/2012

Just weeks after the Supreme Court largely reaffirmed the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement powers in its legal battle with Arizona, federal officials are facing a new, politically tricky clash with local authorities over immigration, this time in Chicago.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he would propose an ordinance that would bar police officers from turning over illegal immigrants to federal agents if the immigrants do not have serious criminal convictions or outstanding criminal warrants.

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Obama Policy on Immigrants Is Challenged by Chicago

July 11, 2012

The New York Times, 7/10/12

Just weeks after the Supreme Court largely reaffirmed the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement powers in its legal battle with Arizona, federal officials are facing a new, politically tricky clash with local authorities over immigration, this time in Chicago.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he would propose an ordinance that would bar police officers from turning over illegal immigrants to federal agents if the immigrants do not have serious criminal convictions or outstanding criminal warrants.

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