Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ICE Drops Quotas But Arrests To Continue

The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ended arrest quotas in the fugitive operations program. In 2003, ICE agents were deployed around the country to arrest immigrants who had deportation orders pending and immigrants with criminal records. Many thousands of immigrants were arrested in the early morning hours when immigration agents would show up at their homes and arrest them. A review of this program showed that roughly 73 percent of immigrants arrested between 2003 and 2008 did not have criminal records. In 2006 ICE stopped requiring that two-thirds of those arrested be fugitives and added non fugitives as targets of arrest. On Monday, John Morton, the head of ICE, announced that the agency would no longer have any quotas or hard number and would just continue arresting individuals who had fought their cases in court and lost. Even though noncriminal fugitives are not out of the woods. Morton indicated that the agency will focus its attention on immigrants with criminal records.

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