ICE Program Not Targeting Serious Offenders

ICE’s 287(g) Immigration Enforcement Program Is Not Targeted Primarily at Serious Offenders, New MPI Study Finds

WASHINGTON — The section 287(g) program, which delegates federal immigration enforcement powers to state and local officers in 72 U.S. jurisdictions, is not targeted primarily at serious offenders, a major new analysis of the program finds.

Despite public statements by Obama administration officials that the program is primarily targeted at identifying and removing “dangerous criminals,” Migration Policy Institute (MPI) researchers found that about half of 287(g) activity involves non-citizens (chiefly unauthorized immigrants but also removable legal immigrants) arrested for misdemeanor or traffic offenses.

The MPI report, Delegation and Divergence: A Study of 287(g) State and Local Immigration Enforcement, is based on in-depth, on-site interviews with federal, state and local law enforcement, elected officials, immigrant- and civil-rights groups and others in seven 287(g) jurisdictions (Los Angeles, CA; the state of Colorado; Cobb and Gwinnett counties in metro Atlanta, GA; Frederick County, MD; Las Vegas, NV; and Prince William County, VA). The report also analyzes 2010 data from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the seriousness of criminal offenses committed by non-citizens detained through 287(g) activity nationwide; and provides data for each 287(g) jurisdiction.

The report assesses outcomes of the three different 287(g) models – screening of immigration status in jails, by task forces operating in the field and hybrid models that combine jail screening and field operations – as well as program costs and community impacts. It also examines the implementation of the Obama administration’s 2009 formal program changes emphasizing that 287(g) activities should focus first and foremost on non-citizens who have committed felonies and other serious crimes.

Among the report’s top findings: Read the rest of this entry »

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Statement by the President on the House Voting to Approve the DREAM Act

President Obama

President Barack Obama. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I congratulate the House of Representatives, Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Berman, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other congressional leaders for taking the historic step of passing the DREAM Act today with a bipartisan vote. This vote is not only the right thing to do for a group of talented young people who seek to serve a country they know as their own by continuing their education or serving in the military, but it is the right thing for the United States of America. We are enriched by their talents and the success of their efforts will contribute to our nation’s success and security. And as the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found, the DREAM Act would cut the deficit by $2.2 billion over the next 10 years. I strongly urge the U.S. Senate to also pass the DREAM Act so that I can sign it into law as soon as possible.

This vote is a vitally important step to doing what the American people expect their policymakers to do: work together to address the nation’s most pressing problems.  The DREAM Act corrects one of the most egregious flaws of a badly broken immigration system. A flaw that forces children who have grown up in America, who speak English, who have excelled in our communities as academics, athletes, or volunteers to put their lives and talent on hold at a great cost to themselves and our nation.

I also congratulate the House for moving past the tired sound bites and false debates that have pushed immigration rhetoric into the extremes for far too long. The DREAM Act is not amnesty; it’s about accountability, and about tapping into a pool of talent we’ve already invested in. The DREAM Act is a piece of a larger debate that is needed to restore responsibility and accountability to our broken immigration system broadly.  My administration will continue to do everything we can to move forward on immigration reform; today’s House vote is an important step in this vital effort.

 

Online retreat will mark 30 years of Jesuit Refugee Service

Online Retreat

This November 14th we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Jesuit Refugee Service. We recall fondly Father Pedro Arrupe’s sound advice to “pray, pray much” as he encouraged the struggling first generation of JRS team members in Southeast Asia to bring the overwhelming challenges of their new apostolic work to the Lord in prayer.

Three decades later, we once again invite our JRS family — current and former staff members, Jesuits, friends and colleagues—to reflect prayerfully on the ways in which we discover the presence of God in our ministry with refugees and displaced persons.

In honor of our 30th anniversary, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is introducing a free 30-day online retreat that links Ignatian Spirituality to the plight of refugees and vulnerable migrants.  It’s an easy way for people to fuse spirituality and social justice into your day .

The retreat will go live on November 1, and will be prominently linked on our home page.

The retreat links the Spiritual Exercises to the plight of refugees and vulnerable migrants and provides an easy way for people to fuse spirituality and social justice into their days.

From migrant to brain surgeon

Visit our new website

(Washington, D.C.) Oct. 1, 2010 – After nearly 12 months of planning and work, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is happy to announce the launch of our new website. In November 2009, JRS communications leaders from the International office, the U.S. office and the Eastern Africa office began collaborating with Omaha-based Adventure Studios to design and build the website.

This new website is designed to present information in a clear way with easy navigation, while highlighting the accompaniment, service and advocacy JRS undertakes worldwide with and on behalf of refugees and forcibly displaced people.

Torn Apart: Immigrant Family Struggles to Stay Together

As the immigration debate rages, millions of American children are left with the real possibility that their undocumented parents will be detected and deported. For the past year, photojournalist Dai Sugano of the San Jose Mercury News and reporter Ken McLaughlin followed a California family on their emotional journey through the U.S. immigration system. Both parents came here as illegal immigrants, but all six of their children are American citizens.

Read more and watch the video here: http://www.mercurynews.com/torn-apart

Torn Apart

New York Times editorial: Secure Communities program not working

The New York Times says

Secure Communities, an immigration enforcement program created under President George W. Bush and now being greatly expanded by President Obama, is billed as an effort to catch and deport “the worst of the worst,” the violent criminals, drug and gun smugglers, gang members and other dangerous aliens. That would be excellent, if true. It doesn’t seem to be.

Read it all here.