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The Atlantic
November 20, 2013

Why Are Immigrants Being Deported for Minor Crimes?
By Steve Patrick Ercolani

Very little is actually known about the number of immigrants deported for aggravated felonies each year, as the government does not publish official statistics. The most reliable source for such numbers is currently the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a data gathering a research unit out of Syracuse University. TRAC has been gathering data on U.S. immigration enforcement for the better part of the last decade and reports that aggravated felonies are one of ICE’s primary deportation tools. The ICE has more or less acknowledged this in an agency-wide memorandum, former ICE Director John Morton wrote: “The removal of aliens who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety shall be ICE’s highest immigration enforcement priority.” However, as TRAC has noted, this policy has resulted in a convergence between local law enforcement and federal immigration law. In other words, deportation is no longer a mere administrative matter; it is being used as a punitive measure for the sorts of crimes that are usually accompanied by due process. This is where most immigration lawyers are finding fault within the system.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2013
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