Where you live affects your chances of deportation

The Obama administration says its top immigration enforcement priority is deporting illegal immigrants who pose a threat to the community–namely, convicted criminals. But local law enforcement officers have employed part of the 1996 law that lets them enforce federal immigration law–a provision known as 287 g–without recourse to that standard, a Migration Policy Institute study finds. The study found that about half of local immigration detainers were placed on people who had committed felonies, and the other half on those who committed misdemeanors, traffic offenses, or only immigration-related offenses. The spread varied widely by county. In Las Vegas, police placed about 70% of their immigration detainers on serious offenders. In some counties in Colorado, Virginia, Georgia, and Maryland, fewer than 10% of police detainers were placed on felons. 90% of those detained for immigration violations in those counties had mostly committed misdemeanors, traffic offenses, or only immigration-related offenses. The study’s authors conclude the schism in enforcement points to a larger problem: the current administration’s lack of a uniform immigration agenda. About half of the 400,000 people deported last year–including those removed through the 287 g program–had no criminal convictions. The study suggests that, in the absence of clearly articulated guidelines, the federal government may not be prioritizing deportation of serious criminals, and can wind up instead simply deporting as many illegal immigrants as possible. (the lookout)

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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