The New York Times reports on a new study produced for the Department of Homeland Security on the results of a couple of programs designed to help speed the deportation of serious criminals and finds that it doesn't seem to be working as intended. Excerpts:
The report shows that 60 percent of the 380,000 people detained during the 2009 fiscal year had been turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement by state and local police, mostly through the Criminal Alien Program, which identifies possible immigration violators in local jails. Others were sent by local law enforcement officers deputized to enforce federal immigration law through a program known as 287(g).
Both programs have the stated goal of improving safety through federal-local partnerships that single out serious criminal offenders for deportation. But well over half the immigrants taken into custody under the programs had no criminal convictions, the figures show.
According to the report, 57 percent of the 178,605 people sent through the Criminal Alien Program in the 2009 fiscal year had no criminal convictions, an increase since 2008, when noncriminals were 53 percent of the 149,067 detainees sent through the program.
An even higher proportion of noncriminals were sent through the 287(g) program - 65 percent of 44,692 in 2009, down from 72 percent of 37,776 in 2008.
Yes, yes, they are all by definition criminals. But they shouldn't be. And I'm sure many will assume that if an alien gets in the hands of the cops, they must be guilty of something, whether or not they are ever convicted. But that's not the way things work in the U.S.A. These programs are not a useful application of government money and effort.