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May 12, 2015

Grijalva, House Dems demand review of ICE deportation policies
By Paul Ingram

In March, the agency trumpeted the results of Operation Cross Check, a national effort to seize "convicted criminal aliens" that resulted in the arrests of more than 2,000 people, including 33 in Arizona. The agency wrote that the effort resulted in the arrests of "individuals who had multiple criminal convictions" including "58 gang members, and 89 convicted sex offenders" and more than 1,000 were convicted felons. However, the agency also noted in the same release that the "vast majority of the misdemeanor convictions were for driving under the influence." "ICE considers DUI offenders, particularly repeat offenders, to be a significant threat to public safety threat," the agency said. Data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a nonpartisan research project supported by Syracuse University, illustrates this clearly. In April 2014, TRAC reviewed data from 2008-2013 and found that while the agency increased the deportation of "convicted criminals" by 87 percent, this was driven almost exclusively by an increase in the prosecution and deportation of people with traffic violations and convictions for immigration offenses. For January-March 2015, this trend remains true. In Arizona, out of nearly 4,000 deportation proceedings, nearly 79 percent were because of immigration offenses. Only a handful of people were deported because of aggravated felonies or "other criminal charges."

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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