Limit Use of ICE Detainers: Barbara Hines

Limit Use of ICE Detainers: Barbara Hines

"Compliance with the ICE detainer system is a destructive policy for our community for many reasons.  While ICE touts Secure Communities as a tool to target immigrants with serious criminal histories for deportation, the evidence starkly contradicts this claim.  These detainers do not differentiate between those accused or convicted of serious crimes and those arrested, for example, for traffic infractions, lack of driver’s license (which is not available to immigrants in irregular status) or unpaid tickets. The detainer process is a primary reason for the recent skyrocketing increase in deportations.  According to a study released Tuesday by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse of Syracuse University, one-half of all non-citizens placed in deportation proceedings because of a detainer request had no criminal record.  In Travis County, 73 percent of ICE’s detainers were placed on immigrants with no criminal conviction.  Additionally, only 3 percent met ICE’s definition of Level 1, serious criminal offenders.  In the past four years in Travis County alone, about 4,280 people were deported as a result of Secure Communities.  Many of our clients at the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law have been placed in deportation proceedings after arrests for minor traffic violations, further demonstrating the folly of an unlimited detainer program." - Prof. Barbara Hines, Feb. 12, 2014.