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Rapid City Journal
March 13, 2017

Sioux Falls braces for immigration enforcement
By Jonathan Ellis, Argus Leader

Outside of the federal government, the most comprehensive data on immigration enforcement exists with the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. TRAC uses requests under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain government data on a variety of issues, including immigration enforcement. During fiscal year 2016, ICE removed an average of 1,250 people a week nationally, according to TRAC's analysis. But only a small number less than 300 a week were deported as a result of being picked up at work or in their homes. The majority of deportations occurred when ICE took people in custody who had been arrested by another law enforcement agency. ICE issues detainers to local law enforcement agencies on immigrants both documented and undocumented who are identified by ICE as having broken laws eligible for deportation. But since 2011, the number of detainers issued by ICE has fallen dramatically, from a high of under 310,000 to 13,253, according to TRAC's analysis. That period of time saw the Obama administration focus deportations on undocumented immigrants who committed serious crimes. But even after ICE issued a detainer, the agency failed to take custody of a person less than 40 percent of the time by the end of 2015. An even smaller number of those taken into custody were deported. The data, said Susan Long, a co-director at TRAC, show that it's "pretty rare" for a detainer to result in a deportation. "It raises all sorts of questions about the efficacy of the program," Long said. In South Dakota, there were about 2,700 detainers issued by ICE to local jails between 2005 and 2015, according to TRAC. The majority were in Minnehaha County.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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