Analysts say federal program failed to deport criminal immigrants

A federal program intended to work in conjunction with local law enforcement to get dangerous criminal undocumented immigrants off the streets has resulted in fewer deportations, analysts claim. The program was put into operation a few weeks after this issue hit the headlines, with the murder of Kate Steinle.

Last summer, the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) was introduced as a compromise to encourage sanctuary cities to assist the federal government with deportation. This asked them to hand over undocumented immigrants known to be dangerous criminals. As a result, more local law enforcement agencies seem to be willing to work with US Citizenship and Immigration Services, and yet the current scheme has resulted in fewer criminal immigrants being deported.

The Syracuse University-based data research organization, known as the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse issued a recent report. This showed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has failed to make improvements to its performance with regard to taking individuals into custody who the agency wants to deport from the US. The murder of Steinle in San Francisco last year by an undocumented immigrant saw a barrage of criticism directed at sanctuary cities. Many Congressional Republicans, including Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, have called for them to lose federal funding.

PEP took effect from July 30 last year, but critics of the program say that the federal government has an obligation to remove any and all undocumented immigrants, not just those who have already proven themselves to be violent and dangerous.