Immigration officials conducted a three day immigration sweep across Kansas last week which ended up with 19 immigrants in custody. Some were fugitives and convicted felons while others were simply immigrants who were previously deported and had reentered the country illegally.
The sweep has caused immigration activists to question the motive behind the operation. Recently the Obama administration has been working on lowering deportations and urging judges to use prosecutorial discretion before ordering removals.
However, while negotiations, talks, and policies are happening on one end, sweeps by immigration officials are happening on the other. The sweep was criticized for occurring and some see it as a method of targeting immigrants who are trying to create a better life for their families.
17 men and two women were arrested by immigration officials. 18 of the individuals arrested had previous convictions including “…drug trafficking, drug manufacturing, aggravated assault, burglary, domestic assault…” A few were arrested for illegal re-entry into the country, which is not an offense that poses a risk to anyone.
In fact, many lawmakers wanted to not make this a crime because it wastes law enforcement efforts who try to track individuals that are not dangerous. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released a statement that they agree to redirect the use of their resources to immigrants who are dangerous or pose a serious threat to society but it can be argued that the Kansas sweep was not exactly following the new policy.
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