Monday, December 31, 2012

The Fiscal Year 2012 for ICE: Removal Numbers, Key Priorities & New National Detainer Guidance

Director John Morton of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced the FY 2012 year-end removal numbers, highlighting the continued enforcement and removal of convicted criminals of serious offenses from the country.  Overall, ICE’s Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed 409,849 individuals, of which ninety-six percent (96%) fell into a priority category – a record high for the agency.  Of the 409,849 total individuals removed, 225,390, approximately fifty-five percent (55%), were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors - nearly double the amount of removals in FY 2008.

ICE also issued new national detainer guidance, which limits the use of detainers to individuals who meet the department’s enforcement priorities and restricts the use of detainers against individuals arrested for minor misdemeanor offenses.  Director Morton highlighted the need to further focus resources on the most serious criminal offenders with the following statement;

“In order to further enhance our ability to focus enforcement efforts on serious offenders, we are changing who ICE will issue detainers against.  While the FY 2012 removals indicate that we continue to make progress in focusing resources on criminal and priority aliens, with more convicted criminals being removed from the country than ever before, we are constantly looking for ways to ensure that we are doing everything we can to utilize our resources in a way that maximizes public safety.”
The implementation of this directive will include the continued use of investigations and programs, such as Operation Cross Check and ICE’s expanded collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to target criminal aliens and to remove recent border crossers.  Furthermore, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has directed ICE to focus its resources on key priorities in all aspects of its immigration enforcement efforts which include; the identification and removal of those that have broken criminal laws, threats to national security and repeat violators of immigration law.

The article can be read in its entirety here and the charts on removal statistics can be viewed on ICE’s immigration enforcement web page.

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