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American Citizens: Bycatch in ICE Detainer Dragnets?

February 22, 2013 (1 min read)

"Local law enforcement officials detained more than 800 U.S. citizens at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement over a four-year period, according to an analysis of ICE statistics released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse on Wednesday.  These Americans were inadvertently caught up among the nearly 1 million requests for immigration holds that ICE issued from fiscal year 2008 to 2012.  An immigration hold or detainer is a notice that federal agents give to local authorities to hold a person for up to 48 hours.  This gives immigration agents time to make contact with suspected non-U.S. citizens to determine whether they should be removed.  In the past, ICE officials have said the agency didn’t keep data on U.S. citizens mistakenly put in immigration detention.  But the TRAC report shows 834 Americans — most without criminal records — may have been illegally detained, according to ICE's data." - Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times, Feb. 20, 2013.