According to some statistics just released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 2012 stands out for the record number of deportations in the city where ICE ends local law-enforcement collaboration. One of Hispanic Community publications, SOL of Las Vegas, thus reports that 23% of deportations in the past two years involve parents of U.S. citizen children, and is clearly contrary to the long standing Department of Homeland Security’s policy to enforce family unity in the U.S.
Record deportations in 2012
Officials from ICE announced Friday, December 21, 2012 that 409,849 immigrants were deported in fiscal 2012, a record number that follows several years of record deportations under President Barack Obama’s administration. Deportations are up 3 percent from last year, when the previous record was set with 396,906 removals.
Another publication Colorlines recently released the results of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request looking into the deportation of immigrants who have U.S. citizen children.
Between July 1, 2010, and Sept. 31, 2012, approximately 23 percent of all deportations, 204,810, involved the parents of citizen children.
Portion of immigration enforcement program scrapped:
In what appears to be a small ray of good news, also on Friday, ICE announced that a portion of the controversial 287(g) program, a partnership on immigration enforcement between federal and local authorities, will not continue in 2013.
The task-force portion of the program in which local authorities assist in street-level immigration enforcement, has ended. Under the task force portion of 287(g) program local police are deputized to participate in immigration enforcement and can question people about their legal status, serve arrest warrants, and detain and transport criminals for immigration violations. Another portion of the program in which those booked into local jails are checked against a national immigration database, will continue.
“ICE has concluded that other enforcement programs, including Secure Communities, are a more efficient use of resources for focusing on priority cases,” the agency said in a statement.
Las Vegas-based paper reports that Las Vegas Metro participates in 287(g) program, but only in the part that is being kept alive.
This month, the American Civil Liberties Union and 161 other organizations sent a letter to the Obama administration calling for the end of all 287(g) programs citing concerns of racial profiling, the loss of trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement and a diversion of resources away from other crimes.
The letter includes the following cautionary language: “We applaud the Obama Administration for this announcement, but we also encourage the President to help keep immigrant families together by not deporting the parents,” Arturo Carmona, executive director of Latino advocacy group Presente.org [www.presente.org] said in a statement. “Until the causes of the deportations like secure communities, 287g, and other failed programs are abolished, the ICE, reforms will be of limited impact in the lives of immigrants in this country.”