Putting TRAC to Work
  News Organizations
March 2, 2012

ICE reports precipitous drop in deportation proceedings
By Griselda Nevárez

A 33-percent drop in deportation proceedings initiated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the first three months of this fiscal year reflects recent Obama administration efforts to prioritize those with criminal records, according to a report by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). From October through December, ICE filed 39,331 deportation cases to immigration courts across the country — down from the 58,639 filings recorded the previous quarter. Filings are usually low this time of year but the 33-percent fall-off is unheard of, said TRAC co-director Susan Long. “You usually see a small drop — maybe 10 percent — but 33 percent is huge,” Long, an associate professor of managerial statistics, told Hispanic Link News Service. The decrease, she said, may have been caused by steps ICE has been taking to implement the use of prosecutorial discretion outlined by agency director John Morton in a June 17 memorandum. The memo called on ICE attorneys and staff to refrain from pursuing the deportation of noncitizens who were brought to the United States as children and have committed no law violations. Special consideration is given to those attending college, who have or are serving in the U.S. military, with strong ties and contributions to the community or other extenuating factors. She also said there is little evidence to show ICE is meeting its goal of targeting serious criminals. Only 14 percent, down from 17.3 percent two years ago, were facing deportation in immigration courts on grounds of alleged criminal activity or accusations of being “aggravated felons.”

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2012
TRAC TRAC at Work TRAC TRAC at Work News Organizations News Organizations