Is ICE Nabbing the Wrong People?

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NEW YORK--Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently announced that in the 2010 fiscal year alone, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported a record 392,000 individuals, of which 195,000 were convicted criminals.

Although these numbers seem impressive, a report by a Syracuse University-based research organization reveals a dangerous trend in immigration enforcement. Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) found that between 2004 and 2009, immigration courts turned down one out of every four cases (25 percent) for removal filed by ICE. In the last three months of fiscal year 2010, the rejection rate went up to 31percent, meaning that about one out of three cases was denied.

For the entire 2010 fiscal year, more than half of the time the court denied the deportation request. The spike in rejection rate is more evident in large cities, such as Los Angeles (63 percent), Oregon (63 percent), Miami (63 peercent) and Philadelphia (55 percent). In New York City, the turndown rate for 2010 is a whopping 70 percent.