ICE To Step Up Non-Criminal Deportations

The Washington Post has obtained a memo from an ICE official to field agents outlining plans to ratchet up the number of non-criminal deportations. It was written by James M. Chaparro, head of ICE detention and removal operations:

Beyond stating ICE enforcement goals in unusually explicit terms, Chaparro laid out how the agency would pump up the numbers: by increasing detention space to hold more illegal immigrants while they await deportation proceedings; by sweeping prisons and jails to find more candidates for deportation and offering early release to those willing to go quickly; and, most controversially, with a "surge" in efforts to catch illegal immigrants whose only violation was lying on immigration or visa applications or reentering the United States after being deported.

"These efforts must be sustained and will be closely monitored," Chaparro told field directors in the e-mail, which was obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting and The Washington Post.

The memo is here (pdf). ICE responded to the Post with what seemed to be a backtrack. [More...]

ICE spokesman Brian P. Hale distanced the agency from Chaparro's remarks, saying, "Portions of the memo were inconsistent with ICE, inconsistent with the administration's point of view and inconsistent with the secretary." He added that the agency has moved to "clarify" the situation.

But Chaparro then sent out another e-mail and didn't retract the quota policy. Even though quotas have previously been disavowed by ICE Assistant Secretary John T. Morton:

The steps appear at odds with a statement made by Morton in August, when he told reporters ICE had ended quotas in a program to capture illegal immigrants violating court deportation orders.

Today, Morton made ICE's position clearer in a response to the Post posted on ICE's website:

Significant portions of the memo cited in The Washington Post (3/27/10 - Becker/Hsu) did not reflect our policies, was sent without my authorization, and has since been withdrawn and corrected.

We are strongly committed to carrying out our priorities to remove serious criminal offenders first and we definitively do not set quotas."

ICE opened a new detention facility this month, in Arizona. Here's its Office of Detention and Removal mission statement and 10 year vision.

Simply stated, DRO's ultimate goal is to develop the capacity to identify and remove all removable aliens.

Here is the Detention Operations Manual.

What happened to the plan for a path to legalization?

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    Well, there we have it...... (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 08:14:20 PM EST
    ....this is Obama's "immigration reform"?  Don't get me wrong, they are here illegally and this is becoming an increasing problem, but I would rather go after the people who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.  I would also institute a "guest worker" program- you would be registered, and as long as you have a job and keep your nose clean, then after a few years, you would be eligible to receive permanent resident status.  This would ensure, not only that the workers paid taxes (and the employers paid their own portion of said taxes), but that employers would not take advantage of them by underpaying or even not paying them at all.

    Hard to understand why this is happening (none / 0) (#4)
    by Yes2Truth on Sun Mar 28, 2010 at 11:40:04 AM EST

    Because so many special interests benefit from the growing waves of illegal immigrants, it's a little bit difficult to understand why this new crackdown is being put into effect.

    Could the 2010 elections have anything to do with it?  I think so, because it only targets the illegals, not employers (or both).