Deportations through an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program have hit a plateau, an analysis from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reports.
The Syracuse University-based project, which organizes and analyzes government data, looked at the Secure Communities Program, a project that is "widely portrayed as the cornerstone" of ICE’s expansion of its enforcement efforts in Donald Trump’s administration, TRAC said.
That program was launched in 2008 and was in place for six years, until President Barack Obama temporarily suspended it in 2014. Trump issued an executive order that reinstated that program when he took office.
ICE deportations increased, with 18 percent more in 2017 than in 2016, and 12 percent more than in 2015 – however, by October 2017, the month-to-month numbers have leveled off, the TRAC analysis said.
Deportations in the Secure Communities Program are still lower than those through the same program during Obama’s administration—in 2012, there were 19 percent more removals than in 2017, the TRAC analysis said.
The program’s deportations are connected to law enforcement arrests, and the analysis from the Syracuse University project found that most deportations in the program were for nonviolent, usually minor crimes.
More than 2,300 people had been deported under the Secure Communities Program for traffic offenses between February and October 2017, a 138-percent increase from the previous year.
The TRAC analysis found three-digit increases in deportations resulting from "public disorder crimes" such as licensing violations, flight to avoid prosecution, and liquor violations. Deportations for violent or serious offenses remained constant.
The Secure Communities Program is one of a number of programs and methods that ICE uses to locate and take into custody undocumented immigrants, the TRAC analysis said.
Earlier in April, TRAC reported that immigration court cases now involve more immigrants who are long-time residents of the U.S.
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