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Tag: ICE

Sacramento Bee: Why California Can’t Trust President Trump on Immigration

ice-agentsBy Editorial Board
Sacramento Bee

If there’s one constant in the chaotic administration of Donald Trump, it’s that there’s always a reason to doubt what the president and his surrogates say about immigration policy.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement proved that just last week, when it released data showing that arrests of undocumented immigrants without criminal records were up a whopping 156 percent from last year. That’s 10,845 people whose immigration violations were the only marks on their record.

And that’s what happened after ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan promised, even during a visit to Sacramento, that his agency would focus on immigrants with criminal records.

It’s no wonder then that Sacramento, San Francisco and so many other cities in California have declared themselves so-called sanctuary cities, refusing to cooperate with federal authorities as the feds expedite deportations of people who haven’t committed serious crimes.

California isn’t a sanctuary state yet. But with its hateful rhetoric, confusing policies, secretive raids and deliberate deceptions, the Trump administration is giving the Legislature every reason to take that step.

The trickery from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week certainly didn’t help. On Monday, he issued a policy memo to clarify parts of an executive order that would punish sanctuary cities by denying them millions of dollars in federal funding.

Now, only jurisdictions that “willfully refuse to comply” with immigration authorities will be considered sanctuary cities. The penalty would be that the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security would deny them grants. Still, it’s questionable whether any of that will come to pass for Sacramento or any other sanctuary city.

To read more click here. 

Trump’s Budget Calls for Tightening Border Security with a Wall, New Agents

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s new 2018 budget asks for $2.6 billion to begin building a wall along the border of Mexico.

To follow through on his pledge to combat illegal immigration, Trump also is requesting money for 500 new Border Patrol agents and 1,000 new ICE agents and officers.

In his new budget, revealed today, Trump said he’s exploring ways to calculate “net budgetary effects of immigration programs and policy” before implementing big changes.

“Once the net effect of immigration on the federal budget is more clearly illustrated, the American public can be better informed about options for improving policy outcomes and saving taxpayer resources,” the president said in the new blueprint. “In that regard, the budget supports reforming the U.S. immigration system to encourage: merit-based admissions for legal immigrants, ending the entry of illegal immigrants, and a substantial reduction in refugees slotted for domestic resettlement.”

Top ICE Official to Leave for Job at Private Prison That Got Lucrative Government Contracts

ICE Deputy Director Daniel Ragsdale is stepping down for a job with a private prison.

ICE Deputy Director Daniel Ragsdale is stepping down for a job with a private prison.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The second-in-command at Immigration and Customs Enforcement is leaving his job of overseeing detention and deportations to take a position with a private prison.

Daniel Ragsdale temporarily served as the head of ICE until President Trump replaced him in January. He then became the deputy director.

Ragsdale will be working for GEO Group, a Boca-Raton-based private prison company, the Daily Beast reports. His position is unclear.

“While you may be losing me as a colleague, please know that I will continue to be a strong advocate for you and your mission,” Ragsdale wrote in an email to his ICE colleagues on April 28.

Ragsdale plans to step down on May 27.

“Dan is a person of great honor and a strong ethical code,” said a source close to Ragsdale. “I have no doubt he will bring great deal of integrity to the process to make sure organizations like GEO are complying with the rules and regulations regarding folks who are in detention because of their immigration status.”

Neither Ragdale nor the GEO Group responded to requests for interviews.

ICE is no stranger to GEO, which has lucrative contracts with the federal agency. The timing coincides with President Trump pledging to increase the use of private prisons, which the company said will be good for business. 

About Half of Immigrants Detained by ICE Had Traffic Convictions or No Record

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Shortly after President Trump took office, about half of the 675 immigrants detained across the U.S. either had no criminal convictions or had traffic violations, according to data obtained by the Washington Post. 

The records provided by congressional aides showed that 80 had been convicted of assault, two had been convicted of homicide and 57 had convictions for “dangerous drugs.”

A much larger portion – 177 – had no criminal convictions, though charges were pending for 66 of those detained. An additional 163 were convicted of traffic offenses, predominately drunken driving.

Immigration authorities dubbed the nationwide immigration roundup as Operation Cross Check.

The Post wrote:

The two-month total represents a 32 percent increase in deportation arrests over the same period last year. Most are criminals, administration officials have said. But 5,441 were not criminals, double the number of undocumented immigrants arrested for deportation a year earlier. The administration has released a detailed breakdown of the criminal records only of the raids in early February.

Trump has said that public safety threats are his top priority. Shortly after he was elected, he vowed to first deport serious criminals from the United States.

Number of ‘Dreamers’ Deported Soars under President Trump

Courtesy of ICE

Courtesy of ICE

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of “Dreamers” deported has soared in the first few months of Donald Trump’s administration.

From Jan. 20 to March 25, 43 immigrants who lost their protected status because of criminal behavior were deported, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

Under President Obama, about seven Dreamers were deported each month on average since the program was launched in September 2012.

The LA Times wrote:

President Trump has stated his administration will not target DACA, an Obama-era program that allows immigrants brought into the country illegally as children, who attend school or have graduated, to apply to the federal government for a two-year work permit and protection from deportation. An estimated 742,000 Dreamers have been given protection under the program.

At issue are those former DACA beneficiaries whose protected status was canceled either because of a criminal conviction or gang activity.

Immigrant advocates say the rise in deportations of former Dreamers is likely a result of Trump’s executive orders tightening border security and immigration enforcement.

The Obama administration prioritized deportation of immigrants who were deemed a danger to public safety, convicted of a serious crime, a threat to national security or who had recently crossed the border.

Arrests of Undocumented Immigrants with No Criminal Records Double

ice-agentsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Arrests of undocumented immigrants increased 32.6% in the first weeks of Donald Trump taking office.

Included in the arrests were thousands of undocumented immigrants who have no criminal record, the Washington Post reports. 

From January through mid-March, ICE arrested 21,362 illegal immigrants, compared to 16,104 during the same period last year.

Among those arrested, 5,441 had no criminal record, a two-fold increase.

“My sense is that ICE is emboldened in a way that I have never seen,” Dan Satterberg, the top prosecutor in Washington state’s King County, which includes Seattle, said Thursday. “The federal government, in really just a couple of months, has undone decades of work that we have done to build this trust.”

An ICE Spokeswoman said no illegal immigrant is safe from deportation.

ICE “focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security,” spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea said in a statement. “However, as [Homeland Security] Secretary [John F.] Kelly has made clear, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.”

More Than 1,000 Immigrants Held at Detention Centers Reported Being Sexually Assaulted

ice-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 1,000 people held at immigration detention centers reported being sexually assaulted in a little more than two years, according to an advocacy group, which cited Homeland Security data.

Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement obtained the information from a public records request, the Associated Press reports. 

The AP wrote:

  • Homeland Security inspector general’s office disclosed that it received 1,016 complaints from detainees reporting sexual abuse or assault from May 2014 to July 2016. More than 90 percent involved Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency within Homeland Security that has more than 30,000 beds at detention facilities nationwide.
  • The inspector general received more than 33,000 allegations of a broader range of abuses from January 2010 to July 2016, including 702 for coerced sexual contact, 714 for physical or sexual abuse and 589 for sexual harassment, according to the group. The group’s analysis showed the inspector general investigated 247, or less than 1 percent. But it was unclear how many others were taken up by agencies in the department, such as Immigration and Customs and Enforcement or Customs and Border Protection.

Gillian Christensen, a Homeland Security spokeswoman, downplayed the assaults, saying the number is relatively low compared to the number of admissions to ICE facilities.

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Administration Halts Weekly Reports on Sanctuary Cities – for Now

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration has temporarily ceased publishing a controversial weekly report about municipalities that won’t work with federal immigration officials.

The New York Times reports that the publication contained misleading and sensational information that incensed law enforcement officials in so-called sanctuary cities.

Critics have argued that the report is propaganda designed to pressure cities to cooperate with federal officials.

The agency said it’s working to “analyze and refine its reporting methodologies,” according to an ICE spokesman.