In the last post, this blog opened a discussion into a recent announcement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement concerning ICE holds under the Secure Communities program that involves an apparent relaxation of policy in ICE detentions after a local arrest of an immigrant accused of a minor offense.
The recent ICE announcement suggests that authorities may give special consideration to cases involving a first time arrest for a minor offense. The recent announcement suggests that ICE will give low priority to seeking potential deportation after a person is arrested for a relatively minor offense, if the undocumented immigrant has no prior record and does not fit within other high priority areas of concern for immigration officials.
ICE announced last Friday that people who have been arrested on a minor traffic offense who have no prior criminal conviction, and are not among other priorities, may receive special consideration under the new policy. ICE officials say that the agency will relax its policy on placing immigration holds on immigrants after an arrest, and before any adjudication for minor offenses.
ICE says that the new policy will not apply to certain misdemeanor offenses that may involve the risk of potential injury to others, such as drunk driving, hit-and-run, reckless driving, or other similar offenses that "have the potential of causing serious injury or harm to the public."
The new policy drew some criticism. The chair of the House Judiciary Committee issued a critical statement Friday that says the federal government should enforce immigration laws. He says that, "The Obama administration should put the interests of Americans first, not those of illegal and criminal immigrants."
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Fewer people stopped for traffic offenses to face deportation," Jeremy Redmon, April 28, 2012