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The River
March 25, 2019

Undocumented in the Hudson Valley: The Luis Martinez Story
By Michael Frank

Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) crunches 250 million government documents every month, all in the study of US immigration patterns. A basic sift of one recent posting shows that since 2017, fewer than five percent of the people that courts are issuing orders of deportation to have committed a serious crime, while during Obama’s eight years in office that average was just shy of 15 percent. But what exactly is a “serious” crime? According to TRAC’s co-founder, Susan Long, nobody knows what ICE’s terms mean. Long said, for instance, crossing the border is considered a civil violation. “Under immigration law that’s not criminal activity, but that’s not how ICE defines it.” According to Long, ICE frequently changes its own rules, “And just the suspicion of criminal activity is sometimes the basis for seeking a deportation order. ICE was bad under Obama and they’ve gotten worse during Trump,” she said.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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