Secure Communities By the Numbers, Revisited
New study refutes denial of due process charges
WASHINGTON, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As ICE nears completion of the nation-wide activation of the Secure Communities program, which facilitates the identification and removal of aliens who are arrested for other crimes through automated fingerprint matching, the record of arrests and removals continue to show the program is effective and beneficial to U.S. communities.
A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies examines the nature of the immigration charges against aliens identified through Secure Communities and how these offenders were processed. In this final installment of a three-part series, Secure Communities By the Numbers, Revisited, authors W.D. Reasoner and Jessica Vaughan find that there are no indications of denial of due process or other inappropriate handling of removal cases, as program critics frequently allege. On the contrary, this analysis shows that the Secure Communities caseload consists mainly of jail and prison inmates, many of whom have histories of significant and repeated immigration violations – in keeping with the program goals.
These findings help explain why the vast majority of state and local law enforcement agencies have embraced Secure Communities enthusiastically, and willingly assist by honoring detainers so that ICE can take custody of criminal aliens. Support from the nation’s sheriffs and police departments has helped motivate ICE to implement the program over the objections of illegal alien advocacy groups.
The key findings:
- There were no indications of systematic denial of due process for aliens processed under Secure Communities. In the case data reviewed, the authors found no instance of an individual being deprived of due process or subjected to an inappropriately harsh form of due process.
- If anything, ICE officers lean towards more costly and inefficient methods of removing criminal aliens, instead of the quicker options that are available. More than half (56%) of the sample cases reviewed had immigration judge hearings and only one percent were processed using the most efficient tool of expedited removal (compared to 30% in the national DHS removal caseload).
- 26 percent of the cases reviewed involved aliens who had been removed at a prior date and returned here illegally (a felony offense under the U.S. criminal code). This suggests that significant gaps in border security still exist.
- 10 percent of these criminal aliens were granted voluntary return, a very lenient treatment that enables them to avoid harsh penalties if they return again illegally.
- Nearly half the total (48%) were multiple or repeat immigration violators, aside from their state or local crimes.
The data source for this analysis was a sample of more than 500 cases released by ICE in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the National Day Labor Organizing Network and the Cardozo Law School’s Immigration Clinic.
The CIS authors’ first two reports examine allegations of wrongful arrests of U.S. citizens and racial profiling. In Part One, Reasoner and Vaughan found no basis for the allegations that Secure Communities had wrongfully ensnared U.S. citizens. In Part Two, the authors found the ethnic profile of the aliens arrested through Secure Communities very closely matched the ethnic profile of criminal aliens incarcerated in the parts of the country where the program was operating, rebutting the accusations of racial profiling. In addition, Reasoner and Vaughan found significant methodological and interpretive errors in the analyses of the ICE critics. They also found significant data integrity problems that ICE must move to correct to facilitate more meaningful analyses of the program.
The complete study can be found at http://www.cis.org/SC-by-the-numbers-critique-part3
About the Center for Immigrations Studies
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization. Since its founding in 1985, the Center has pursued a single mission – providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States.
SOURCE Center for Immigration Studies