Friday, November 30, 2012

Report finds that 287(g) program creates a pattern and practice of constitutional violations, including racial profiling of Latinos

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), a research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council, has released a report about the 287(g) immigration enforcement program finding that it is "a flawed and obsolete."

Here are some of the findings taken from this fact sheet:
  • In Maricopa County, Arizona there is a pattern and practice of constitutional violations, including racial profiling of Latinos.
  • In 87% of the jurisdictions with 287(g) agreements the rate of Latino population growth was higher than the national average.
  • 287(g) agreements in the North Carolina were primarily used to target offenders who posed no threat to public safety or individuals with no criminal record, and the program has “created a climate of racial profiling and community insecurity." 
  • In Alamance County, North Carolina there is a pattern and practice of constitutional violations by unlawfully detaining and arresting Latinos.
  • In Gwinnet County, Georgia racial profiling has been exacerbated by the 287(g) program.
  • ICE and its local law enforcement partners had not complied with the terms of their 287(g) agreements, standards by which deputized officers are evaluated contradicted the stated objectives of the 287(g) program, the program was poorly supervised by ICE, and additional oversight is necessary.
  • There is very little ICE oversight of 287(g) partnerships and that ICE personnel do not lead or directly oversee 287(g) arrests. 
  • While ICE officials have stated that the purpose of the program is to address serious crime, such as narcotics smuggling, ICE has never documented this objective or provided statistics to validate it. As a result, local police have used their 287(g) authority to detain immigrants for traffic violations and other minor crimes.
  • ICE does not pay for any costs associated with implementation of the program, including overtime and financial liability arising from civil rights violations.
  • The total cost for the first year of operating the 287(g) program in Mecklenburg County, N.C., to be $5.5 million. Meanwhile, costs for the first full year of operation in Alamance County, N.C., were found to be $4.8 million.
  • Prince William County, Va., had to raise property taxes and take from its “rainy day” fund to implement its 287(g) program. The report found the program cost $6.4 million in its first year and would cost $26 million over five years. To cut costs, the county slashed $3.1 million from its budget—money that was intended to buy video cameras for police cars to protect against allegations of racial profiling.
  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office created a $1.3 million deficit in just three months, much of it due to overtime.
Click here to review the full report.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Report: ICE Fails to Reliably Protect Immigrant Detainees from Physical and Sexual Abuse

The Detention Watch Network, a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to educate the public and policy makers about the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system, has coordinated the release of ten reports which detail the "acute and chronic human right violations occurring in immigration detention" in the United States.  The report is entitled: Expose & Close.  

The report determined that: "there is no facility among the approximately 250 in operation at the time of publication where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reliably protects those inside from physical and sexual abuse," and there is a systemic failure to provide basic medical care.

From the executive summary of the report:
ICE currently incarcerates more than 400,000 immigrants every year in 33,400 prison and jail beds. Immigrants in ICE custody are technically in civil detention, meaning that they are locked up to ensure that they show up for their hearings and comply with the court’s decision, not because of any crime. 
While no person should have to suffer the hardships of incarceration as it is practiced in the U.S., those who are in prisons and jails serving time for criminal convictions have legal protections that immigrants do not—for example the right to a lawyer and to a speedy trial.
The majority of people in immigration detention do not have the right to a bond. This means that people can spend months and sometimes years locked up while they work to prove that they have the right to stay in the U.S., without ever having the chance to ask a judge to let them remain with their families while their cases are ongoing. 
Harsh deportation policies also mean that there are more and more points of entry in the immigration enforcement pipeline sending a record number of people into detention.
Click here to read the report.
Expose and close