Study: De­por­ta­tions to bur­den ICE

Of­fi­cers over­worked and un­der­trained, U.S. in­spec­tors find

The Dallas Morning News - - NATION - Ruben R. Ramirez/The Associated Press

WASH­ING­TON — U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment, ham­pered by poor or­ga­ni­za­tion and an over­worked staff, will have trou­ble keep­ing up with the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plans to ramp up de­por­ta­tions of peo­ple in the coun­try il­le­gally, gov­ern­ment in­spec­tors have con­cluded.

ICE has “over­whelm­ing caseloads,” its records are “likely in­ac­cu­rate” and its de­por­ta­tion poli­cies and pro­ce­dures “are out­dated and un­clear,” said a re­port re­leased Thurs­day by the in­spec­tor gen­eral of the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity.

“ICE is al­most cer­tainly not de­port­ing all the aliens who could be de­ported and will likely not be able to keep up with the grow­ing num­ber of de­portable aliens,” the 19-page re­port con­cludes.

The harsh as­sess­ment is the lat­est dash of cold re­al­ity for Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who was swept into Wash­ing­ton promis­ing vastly tougher en­force­ment of im­mi­gra­tion laws, in­clud­ing more re­movals, thou­sands more Bor­der Pa­trol agents and de­por­ta­tion of­fi­cers, and con­struc­tion of a for­mi­da­ble wall on the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der.

A vast surge of new hir­ing is prob­lem­atic. Al­though Trump has signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der di­rect­ing the Bor­der Pa­trol and ICE to hire 15,000 more agents and of­fi­cers to boost en­force­ment, that goal will be nearly im­pos­si­ble to achieve any­time soon.

Un­der the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, the Bor­der Pa­trol and ICE have ramped up ar­rests of peo­ple in the coun­try il­le­gally — 21,362 from mid-Jan­uary to mid-March, com­pared with about 16,100 for the same pe­riod last year.

On Thurs­day, At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions boasted dur­ing a visit to El Paso of making progress, say­ing the num­ber of peo­ple try­ing to cross the bor­der il­le­gally had fallen to its low­est point in 17 years.

“For those that still seek to vi­o­late our laws and en­ter the coun­try il­le­gally, let me be very clear: Don’t come. When you are caught, you will be de­tained, ad­ju­di­cated and de­ported,” he said.

Ses­sions said he had or­dered each of the 94 U.S. at­tor­ney of­fices to make crim­i­nal im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment a pri­or­ity, and said each now has a “bor­der se­cu­rity co­or­di­na­tor” who is per­son­ally re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment.

Af­ter tak­ing of­fice, Ses­sions or­dered nearly ev­ery U.S. at­tor­ney in the coun­try to re­sign. He has yet to nom­i­nate any re­place­ments to the Se­nate, which must con­firm each one, so it’s un­clear when fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors will start to change their fo­cus.

Ses­sions also said that he had stream­lined the hir­ing of im­mi­gra­tion judges, and that the Jus­tice Depart­ment would add 50 such judges this year and 75 next year to help ad­ju­di­cate asy­lum claims, de­por­ta­tion or­ders and other dis­putes.

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions said Thurs­day dur­ing a trip to El Paso that the num­ber of peo­ple try­ing to cross the bor­der il­le­gally has fallen to its low­est point in 17 years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.