ICE Calls New Deportation Report Flawed
Report shows a large drop off in the number of illegal immigrants being prosecuted in court
By Jonathan Gonzalez, February 26, 2012
A new report that indicates federal officials are prosecuting and deporting fewer illegal immigrants may be flawed, according to a federal immigration authority.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement opened 39,331 deportee cases in immigration courts from October 2011 to December 2012, a large drop from the 58,639 filings that were recorded the prior quarter, according to a report released by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.
But ICE, on Thursday, said the report was inaccurate because it has the right to deport some illegal immigrants without actually giving them time in court when they commit violent crimes, such as rape or murder.
"The TRAC report is alleging that overall we are putting fewer people in deportation proceedings," said ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen. "This report is looking at the wrong data."
"When removing individuals who have been convicted of a crime and who have no lawful immigration status … ICE is not required to file charging documents in immigration court asserting criminal grounds of removal," Christensen said in statement.
But TRAC, which used numbers provided by the Executive Office for Immigration Review, disagrees with the claims of inaccuracy.ICE has yet to look at the statistics used in the report, she added.
"It was the fact that it didn't cover all the deportations. That doesn't make it inaccurate," said Sue Long, co-director of TRAC. "[ICE] won't even release their immigration court data."