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The Guardian
August 11, 2016

Half of immigrants held in US 'priority' program have no criminal conviction
By Renée Feltz

A program intended to prioritize the deportation of immigrants who officials call “the worst of the worst” is missing its target, according to a new report. An analysis of requests by federal officials for local jails to keep immigrants suspected of violating US immigration law in custody found half of the so-called “holds” were placed on people who had been arrested but actually had no criminal conviction. Some had been picked up during traffic violations, or had their charges dropped. But their arrest triggered a process that ended with their federal immigration detention, and in many cases led to deportation proceedings. Just one quarter had committed the most serious types of offenses, such as murder or sexual assault, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which is based at Syracuse University and obtained the records through an open records request. The most common conviction was for drunk driving, followed by miscellaneous assaults and simple traffic offenses.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2016
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