ICE: Not enough criminal fugitives. Let's Round us up some "incidentals"

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Arizona ACLU finds most immigrants rounded up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as dangerous criminals or illegal fugitives in "sweeps" are neither, just "incidentals" (AKA "collateral damage").

The Arizona Republic reports

Last November, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents conducted an operation in northern Arizona to look for immigration fugitives.

The operation was part of an ICE program whose main objective is to arrest and deport dangerous illegal immigrants who had previously been ordered deported and had prior criminal records.

But a review of ICE documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties

Union of Arizona under a Freedom of Information Act request found that the majority of the people arrested during the operation were neither criminals nor fugitives.

The operation lasted four days and was conducted in the Flagstaff, Sedona, Prescott and Prescott Valley areas by ICE agents with help from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office and the Prescott Police Department, the ACLU said.

In all, 80 illegal immigrants were arrested, including 14 fugitives and 66 non-fugitives, according to the documents, which the ACLU posted on its Web site. Of the 80 arrested, six had prior criminal histories, including two who were fugitives and four who were non-fugitives.  Of the 66 non-fugitives arrested, 62 had no previous criminal history.

An ICE memo that was part of the documents noted that 18 of the 80 people arrested were the result of two smuggling vehicles filled with illegal immigrants stopped by Arizona DPS officers on I-17. Twenty-five of the 80 were the result of ICE officers assisting the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office in its  attempts to locate and arrest people who had criminal arrest warrants and lived in a trailer park in Sedona.

"Contrary to assertions from Department of Homeland Security officials that they are focusing on apprehending criminal fugitives, these documents demonstrate that they are continuing to round (up) immigrants who were not previously ordered deported and who pose no threat to the public safety," Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona, said in a statement posted on the group's Web site.

Thanks to Billof Rights Defense Committee

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This page contains a single entry by Phil Leggiere published on November 7, 2009 1:32 AM.

Second Circuit Court: Everything is legal in the name of the national security (and national security is anything the government says it is) was the previous entry in this blog.

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