While the immigration issue looms large, little has been commonly understood about the details of the deportation system used by the United States; however, this could be about to change due to a new report revealing the effects of the Criminal Alien Program and the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
The American Immigration Council (AIC) says the policy of the current immigration system is “overbroad and arguably inefficient”. The Washington non-profit organization, which defends the civil rights of immigrants and promotes immigration, made use of Freedom of Information requests to obtain data on the Criminal Alien Act and says that what it found painted a different picture to that promoted by presidential candidates on the campaign trail or by the White House.
The AIC says that the 2010 to 2013 fiscal year documents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) show both ineffective prioritization when it comes to immigration and inconsistencies with immigration enforcement between different states. Secure Communities reports often resulted in deportations, with jail records of ‘potential non-citizens’ being handed over by local and state authorities to the federal government even when the individual was ultimately not charged with any crime.
The data shows that one in four undocumented immigrants deported from the United States have never been convicted of a crime, with this number being even higher – one-third of all deportations – five years ago in 2010. The issue of illegal immigration and deportation divides politics like few others and the report says that clearer information about the identity of those deported and the reasons behind their deportation could impact those who are currently undecided.