Oct 19, 2011

Immigration Crackdown - Secure Communities: U.S. citizens caught in immigration net

Report: U.S. citizens caught in immigration net - San Jose Mercury News: "Likely thousands of U.S. citizens have been detained under a controversial immigration program that has been a source of local debate, according to a study by a UC Berkeley group. Prepared by the Warren Institute at the UC Berkeley School of Law, the report is based on an examination of several hundred individual immigration records obtained through a lawsuit. Together, they offer the first case-by-case look at a program that has come under scrutiny locally and across the nation.

"When we found this, we were quite disturbed because we didn't expect to see U.S. citizens in the sample," said Aarti Kohli, director of immigration policy at the Warren Institute. Though based on a narrow sample of 375 cases out of the thousands of detainees transferred under Secure Communities, researches say the sample is statistically significant. Based on a handful of cases, they estimate 3,600 citizens have been detained under the program.

ICE officials called the report "misleading and inaccurate," saying Secure Communities has enhanced public safety and that the report failed to acknowledge ICE's responsibility to determine who is in the country illegally. "If there is a question about an individual's status, ICE conducts appropriate follow-up. If the individual is a U.S. citizen, ICE takes no additional action. In exercising its civil immigration functions, ICE does not detain U.S. citizens," the agency said in a statement released in response to the report." read more

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