Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Immigration arrests

ICE Budget to double by 2018

Washington--Immigration arrests have increased dramatically under the Trump administration and could even double next year if Congress approves the administration’s multibillion-dollar budget proposal according to the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“You should look over your shoulder, if you’re in this country illegally, and you committed a crime by entering this country, you should be uncomfortable,” said Thomas Homan, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director.

Horman told Congressmen at a hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday that ICE is cranking out detainer requests and adding thousands of cases to the agency dockets. He said that ICE is also deputizing local law enforcement agencies in key areas to help enforce federal immigration law.

House Democrats questioned the use of taxpayer dollars to lock up students and others who are in the country illegally but have not committed crimes, including a 19-year-old New York high school student who was detained last week just hours before his senior prom.

One Congressman called the policy “un-American,” and the another committee member asked if ICE was even looking out for public safety threats with all the recent noncriminal arrests.

Homan stressed that ICE still going after criminals, but said  the President's Jan. 25 executive order expanded the number of immigrants targeted for deportation including more than 300,000 fugitives with final deportation orders and 600,000 visa violations, people that have overstayed their visas—all off limits under President Barack Obama.

Homan’s testimony before the homeland security subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee told how ICE carries out enforcement operations. He said that beside searching for immigrants on its own, the agency uses a fingerprint-sharing program that alert agents when undocumented immigrants are arrested.

Under President Obama's administration there were 23 countries that refused to issue the travel documents that U.S. officials need to put people on airplanes and deport them to their countries of citizenship. Now, just 12 are on the travel ban list.

ICE is the Homeland Security agency that handles detentions and deportations. The Justice Department runs the immigration courts, and under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, it has led the offensive against jurisdictions that refuse to detain immigrants so that ICE can take them into federal custody.

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