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New York Daily News
June 4, 2014

Our immigration law insanity
By Robert M. Morgenthau

Last year, the Department of Homeland Security removed 368,644 immigrants from the United States a mind-boggling 1,010 people a day. In the past, President Obama has instructed Homeland Security to target only criminal immigrants who threaten public safety or national security. But those common-sense marching orders clearly have not filtered down the chain of command, as the number of deportees remains far too high to be limited to serious felons. Instead, hundreds of thousands of people whose worst offenses were misdemeanors or traffic tickets have been detained or removed. Immigrants in New York City have been turned over to Homeland Security for sleeping on the subway or drinking in public. As a result, public and private detention centers serving Homeland Security are now packed with immigrants awaiting removal hearings or deportation. But despite the well-documented poor conditions and abuses at these centers, the administration has shown no sign of easing up on its aggressive enforcement of immigration laws. A recent analysis by a policy group at Syracuse University found that prosecutions for illegal reentry, which is classified as a felony, are rising even as prosecutions for illegal entry, a petty misdemeanor, have fallen.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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