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Tampa Bay Times
January 13, 2021

Deputies in Florida help enforce immigration law, but Biden aims to change that
By Juan Carolos Chavez

The federal government under Trump has exaggerated criminal activity among undocumented immigrants in its campaign to justify mass deportations, said Austin Kocher, a geographer at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse — a repository of federal data maintained by Syracuse University. Using federal Freedom of Information laws, the clearinghouse analyzed records from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and found that during the first three years of the Trump administration, the growth in the number of immigrants detained is attributed entirely to immigrants with no criminal convictions. “Even among detained immigrants with criminal convictions, ICE’s data show a decrease in serious convictions and an increase in minor convictions,” Kocher said. He hopes the office under Biden will be more forthcoming with its data so people can analyze what’s happening for themselves. “To this end,” Kocher said, “we hope that ICE decides to end its strategy of stonewalling public requests for data and chooses instead to adopt a spirit of greater transparency going forward.”

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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