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September 8, 2015

Federal Requests For Immigration Holds Continue To Decline
By Richard Gonzales

Federal immigration officials are issuing far fewer detainer requests, also known as immigration holds, to state and local law enforcement agencies seeking immigrants who are in this country illegally. At the same time, the requests that are issued don't appear to be targeting serious, or convicted, criminals. That's according to federal data collected by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. It's an independent research organization based at Syracuse University. Detainer requests dropped 30 percent between October 2014 and April 2015, from 11,355 to 7,993. In November of last year, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, announced a new Obama administration policy changing the way detainers are issued. Under an old program called Secure Communities, officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement would ask local police to hold immigrants for up to 48 hours after they were due to be released. Immigration activists argued that these holds" were unconstitutional. Last year, a federal court in Oregon agreed, ruling that ICE detainer requests violate the Fourth Amendment.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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