New data shows surprising variations from state to state of the percentage of people who were removed. On an average day, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) picks up about 1,500 immigrants who are then detained and possibly deportation. The study looks at the potential reasons for the large disparity in numbers.
The number of deportations occurring daily are at an all-time high, but what is more concerning for those analyzing this data is the variations in percentages between states. Two out of three undocumented immigrants who are apprehended by ICE are “removed” from the U.S. which means they are barred from returning to the U.S. in the future. Looking at Border States such as Arizona and Texas, removal rates are about 85 and 70 percent. For other states such as Illinois and Florida, percentages are remarkably lower at 45 and 43 percent. Most detainees are held at detention facilities until they either see a judge or are transferred out for other reasons. However, the majority of detainees have decisions made for them by ICE officials and a smaller number are made by judges in a court proceeding. This raises a question of whether immigrants are being given equal treatment nationwide and if procedures are being followed lawfully.
The percentage of detainees who were removed varied on a state by state basis. The state with the highest removal rate ranking at 88 percent was New Mexico. Missouri also made it on the list within five percentage points of the national average of 66 percent. This research poses the questions of whether immigrants are given equal justice under the law. When there are such large differences among states, some worry that this is due to targeting of noncitizens residing in a particular state. Also the decisions made when detaining immigrants heavily impacts the costs to taxpayers and support for ICE’s detention system. Out of the average of 1500 detainees, 1000 are deported and very few of those released by ICE are done so with supervision through electronic monitoring or placed on enhanced supervision. There seems to be a lack of oversight in regards to the actions of these immigration officials and detention facilities. It is troubling to read through these numbers and recognize that immigrants may not be treated fairly.
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