Putting TRAC to Work
  News Organizations
March 29, 2014

The Fight Against ICE Holds
By Wende Marshall

According to ICE, such civil immigration detainers are meant to prioritize the deportation of "individuals who present the most significant threats to public safety as determined by the severity of their crime, their criminal history" or their repeated violations of immigration law. But reporting by the Transaction Records Action Clearinghouse (TRAC) analyzing federal data demonstrated that in 2012 and 2013 the overwhelming proportion of ICE Holds, about four out of five or 82 percent, "were issued for individuals who either had no convictions (47.7 percent), or had at most been convicted of a misdemeanor or petty offense of some type. Traffic violations, including driving while intoxicated, were the most common offenses." Of the 347,691 individuals held through civil immigration detainers, only 12 percent were for those who had been convicted of a serious offense. TRAC's analysis of ICE data also found that if "traffic violations (including driving while intoxicated) and marijuana possession are put aside, fully two-thirds of all detainees had no record of a conviction."

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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