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December 5, 2011

Deportation Proceedings Target Mainly Non-Criminals, Study Shows
By Elizabeth Llorente

Less than 14 percent of deportation proceedings started in the summer months involved people who had criminal charges, according to a new report. That marks a stark contradiction to the assertions of the Obama administration about how it has shifted the focus of enforcement and deportation to target the most dangerous immigrants – namely those who have committed serious crimes or who been linked to terrorism, the report authors said. The deportation analysis, conducted by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, at Syracuse University, showed that of the deportation proceedings that took place between July and September at the nation’s more than 50 immigration courts, 13.8 percent involved people with criminal charges. That was a drop from the previous year, when 16.5 percent had criminal charges, according to the TRAC report. TRAC authors said that their case-by-case review of records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, known as FOIA, showed that in fiscal year 2011 – which runs from October 2010 to September, 2011 – immigration officials initiated deportation proceedings against nearly 189,000 people who were charged with immigration violations. People with immigration violations, which are civil – not criminal – accounted for slightly more than 83 percent of all deportation proceedings, the report said.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2011
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