In response to the horrifying September 11 attacks, the U.S.Congress created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose purpose is to help protect the nation from terrorism and other potential hazards. But the relentless deportation of nonviolent immigrants has some accusing Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — a division of DHS —of ripping apart families across America.
America has a broken immigration system — that’s no secret. But the absence of serious reform has effects that extend far beyond hard-to-get visas and bumpy paths to citizenship. Take the following into consideration:
- Over the past two years, 180,897 parents of U.S. citizens have been deported.
- 5,100 children have been placed in foster care because their parents were deported.
- 429,247 foreign nationals are detained in immigration jails each year.
And why? We’re told it’s for our protection. But if the deported are nonviolent, noncriminal offenders, why is ICE so insistent on tearing apart their families?
To combat this problem, ICE issued new guidelines designed to ensure that immigration officers would prioritize enforcement — seeking to detain individuals who pose a threat to public safety or national security before detaining immigrants with no criminal background. But a new report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) calls into question whether or not officers are actually changing their behavior. According to the government’s own data, detainers were placed on fewer individuals with criminal convictions since ICE issued its new guidelines.
Unfortunately, TRAC’s report makes one fact crystal clear: ICE has failed to adequately address their problematic policies. And until they do, immigrant families and communities will continue to pay a hefty price.
Zulkie Partners is nationally recognized for its command of immigration law. We offer services that cover all aspects of corporate immigration law, including nonimmigrant work visas, permanent residence sponsorship and more.