Putting TRAC to Work
Hit and Run Blog
October 10, 2018

Most ICE Detainees Aren't Criminals, Report Reveals
By Jon Setyon

Democrats "want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bringing with them crime, tremendous amounts of crime," President Donald Trump said in January. That claim was nothing new. Announcing his candidacy in June 2015, he infamously asserted that Mexican immigrants are "bringing drugs" and "crime" into the nation. But there's little evidence to suggest that undocumented immigrants are more prone to crime. In fact, according to a report released Tuesday by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, the majority of individuals detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have never been convicted of a crime. And even the ones who have are mostly low-level offenders. TRAC's report, which is based off ICE data, notes that 44,435 people were in ICE custody at the end of June. (For comparison, that's up about 14 percent from 39,082 at the end of the 2015 fiscal year.) Fifty-eight percent—25,920—of ICE's 44,435 detainees had never been convicted of a crime. An additional 21 percent, or 9,358, had Level 3 convictions on their record. According to ICE's standard operating procedures, Level 3 is the lowest classification of crime.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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