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In a disturbing turn of events, documents procured by the Washington Post have exposed a senior-ranking Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official explicitly stating that even while deportation of those with criminal charges has risen, the overall number of deportations is "well below the agency’s goal" and what is needed is a reversal of the downward trend of deportations.

From theRestore Fairness blog.

Sirens, helicopters, immigration agents with guns swarming into factories and homes, this was standard game for immigration raids during the Bush administration. But all that was supposed to change during President Obama’s tenure. In a disturbing turn of events, documents procured by the Washington Post have exposed a senior-ranking Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official explicitly stating that even while deportation of those with criminal charges has risen, the overall number of deportations is "well below the agency’s goal" and what is needed is a reversal of the downward trend of deportations.

Rather than reflect the plans of the Obama administration that is committed to an enforcement agenda focused on immigrants that commit serious crimes, the exposed ICE memo has laid out a plan that will -

pump up the numbers by increasing detention space to hold more illegal immigrants while they await deportation proceedings; sweep prisons and jails to find more candidates for deportation and offering early release to those willing to go quickly; and, most controversially, include a "surge" in efforts to catch illegal immigrants whose only violation was lying on immigration or visa applications or reentering the United States after being deported.

In keeping with this plan, ICE field offices in Dallas, Chicago and Northern California have set their agents an incentive system that calls for them to process 40-60 cases in a month in order to earn "excellent" ratings. Such a policy encourages agents to target "easy" cases rather than focus on high risk, criminal cases that take longer to process.

ICE immediately distanced themselves from Chaparro’s memo.

Our longstanding focus remains on smart, effective immigration enforcement that places priority first on those dangerous criminal aliens who present risk to the security of our communities. This focus has yielded real results – between FY2008 and FY2009, criminal deportations increased by 19%... Significant portions of the memo cited in The Washington Post did not reflect our policies, was sent without my authorization, and has since been withdrawn and corrected.

Mixed signals from an agency known for its harsh implementation of detention and deportation policies. A report published by the Center for American Progress weighs the fiscal damage that would result from mass deportation of all immigrants, the alternative to comprehensive reform that is championed by immigration hardliners, and the results should worry us all.

Based on federal spending on border enforcement and deportation for 2008, the report estimates the cost of detention and deportation for 10.8 million undocumented immigrants present in the U.S. at around 200 billion dollars. Referring to the option of mass deportation as the "status-quo on steriods", it points to this option as a highly irresponsible one that would require "$922 in new taxes for every man, woman, and child in this country." The bad news, the National Immigration Forum puts this number on the lower side.

The good news. Americans aren’t buying this option and are demanding immigration reform in record numbers. The Public Religion Research Institute asked American voters (predominantly white Evangelicals, Catholics and Mainline Protestants) what they think about immigration reform, and found-

Two-thirds of Americans believe in a comprehensive approach that offers illegal immigrants an earned path to citizenship. Overwhelming majorities of those asked believed that immigration reform should be guided by values of fairness, security, dignity and keeping families together.

On the other side is Public Agenda, a non partisan group that decided to find out what immigrants think about their lives in the United States. What did they find?

The overwhelming majority of immigrants say they’re happy in the United States, and would do it all over again if they could. Immigrants "buy in" to American society, for themselves and their children. They rate the United States as an improvement over their birthplace in almost all dimensions, and most say they expect their children to remain in this country. A solid majority says that illegal immigrants become productive citizens and an overwhelming 84 percent support a "guest worker" program

So what’s next? We’ve marched. We’ve rallied. We’ve practically shouted from rooftops demanding immigration reform. And now it’s time to make sure that we get some concrete action. With the current system broken, expensive and inefficient, and with 10.8 million people eager to contribute to the nation’s economy and society, everyone should be on board for finding a sustainable, just, and humane solution to the current immigration system. We rest our case.

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org

Originally posted to Lets Breakthrough on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:58 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Take action to fix a broken immigration system. www.restorefairness.org

    by Lets Breakthrough on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:58:28 PM PDT

  •  Total deportation has no economic benefit (0+ / 0-)

    Instead I favor:

    1. Deportation only if the person's employer stops sponsoring them or they are unemployed
    1. Make illegal immigration a felony punishable by long-term community service
    1. Abolish "birthright citizenship" for children of illegal immigrants
    •  Thanks and all, but we're better (5+ / 0-)

      off keeping the Constitution we have and maintaining citizenship jus soli.

      About 40,000 kids or so are born in the US to undocumented parents every year, but once we reform our immigration laws, that will drop drastically.

      Because pregnant women really don't hike 100 miles through the desert in the hope of having a kid in the States.  Rather, people who have been living, working, and often paying taxes here for years have kids.

      My first choice is a strong consumer agency My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.~E. Warren

      by JesseCW on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:35:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fairness-security and dignity! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, balancedscales

    And keeping families together!

    Two-thirds of Americans believe in a comprehensive approach that offers illegal immigrants an earned path to citizenship. Overwhelming majorities of those asked believed that immigration reform should be guided by values of fairness, security, dignity and keeping families together.

    It gets my vote-literally!

    Liz Cheney-Livin' off handouts from the Pentagon-cadillac drivin' Warfare Queen!

    by lyvwyr101 on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:23:57 PM PDT

  •  Thanks tipped and rec'ed nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101, catchaz

    LeBron James is worth way more than any Wall Street Banker.

    by J Brunner Fan on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:42:57 PM PDT

  •  I think this illustrates the problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IowaPopulist

    and, most controversially, include a "surge" in efforts to catch illegal immigrants whose only violation was lying on immigration or visa applications or reentering the United States after being deported.

    OK, that's the "most controversial" part, got it.  But to most people, this would seem utterly uncontroversial.  After all, the only meaningful consequence for lying on an immigration or visa application, or re-entering the United States after being deported, is deportation.  

    I think we're living in two Americas on this issue: a smallish one composed of immigrants and (some) progressives who don't accept the cognitive category of illegal residence in the US, and a biggish one composed of most everyone else.

    Enrich your life with adverbs!

    by Rich in PA on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:56:59 PM PDT

  •  A $100 bus trip to the border would cost (0+ / 0-)

    $1.08 billion for the 10.8 million illegal immigrants. With workplace enforcement most of them would buy the ticket themselves.

    Deporting the 8.1 million illegal workers would reduce jobs by 2.8 million as a result of loss of aggregate demand, but that would make 5.3 million jobs available for the 15 million unemployed.

    •  If you couldn't get a job, and ... (0+ / 0-)

      I offered you a free trip to Mexico... would you take it?

      Of course you will probably tell me you have lived here most of your life, have a community here and a family and friends and roots here (as if that makes any difference).

    •  and of course, all those jobs are going to (0+ / 0-)

      be filled by the former union-backed factory workers and computer programmers, right?

      Obviously, many would be filled by unskilled workers, but please, a huge issue here is that many of our companies and corporations have offshored tech jobs, service center jobs, etc. Many people are overqualified for these jobs.  

      It's not quite as black and white as you make it seem in my opinion.

      respectfully.

      "Kindly go render the fat in your head in a large kettle of boiling water. Thank you." - Bumblebums

      by balancedscales on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 09:07:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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