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Is ICE Arresting More “Non-Criminal” Illegal Aliens?

Over the past year ICE raids and announcements have made the news. The Des Moines Register reports that the ratio of illegal aliens arrested by ice that have not been convicted of additional crimes has dramatically increased under President Trump.

Immigration agents allowed to go after any undocumented immigrant are arresting more people throughout the U.S., an increase fueled by rounding up people without criminal records, according to federal data released Thursday.

Over the first full 14 months of the Trump administration, 69% of undocumented immigrants arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents had a criminal record. Over the final two years of the Obama administration, that number was 86%.

The shift reflects a policy of applying the law equally. The Register interviewed Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies:

In order to have a lawful immigration system, Krikorian said, ICE agents must go after all immigration violators, not just those who committed additional crimes once they entered the country.

In news reports and in political speeches, we often here about “undocumented immigrants.” This is political talk, not legal talk. Please do not be confused by people who talk about “undocumented” and “non-criminal undocumented.” Violating US immigration law is a crime. Buried deep in the article we find:

Corey Price, assistant director of enforcement for ICE, said it’s wrong to call any undocumented immigrant a “non-criminal” since they either entered the country illegally or stayed in the country after the expiration of their visa. He said that shift in approach has allowed his agents to drive up their arrest numbers, nabbing both convicted criminals and those who have violated immigration laws, “all of which are federal crimes.”

If you are someone you know is in the United States illegally, that person is committing a crime. It is best to seek legal help in situations.

Families Split Up as “Zero Tolerance” Illegal Border Prosecutions Are Underway

NBC News reports that the recently announced “zero-tolerance” policy has been implemented.

The new policy is a marked departure from the way parents and children were treated previously. In 2014, the Obama administration saw a surge of families and unaccompanied minors at the border and generally kept children with at least one parent at emergency shelters and family facilities. The Obama administration also initiated a program designed to allow families more freedom while awaiting deportation hearings. The Trump administration ended the program last summer.

Children are removed from parents.

“They are saying either you take your kid back and live in danger and don’t try to save your kid’s life by claiming your right to asylum, or insist on applying for asylum where we are going to separate you from your child and endanger your child,” said Michelle Brané, director of immigration policy at the Women’s Refugee Commission, a research and advocacy organization.

The report has interviews with several parents who were separated from their children.

Hernandez, the mother of two, said that back in Honduras, she and her husband had it all — a home, a business and family. But after her husband refused to help drug traffickers, they were threatened and an employee of their car wash business was killed, she said. They tried moving and starting another business but were tracked down. They pulled the children out of school and came to the U.S.

Still, she doesn’t think she would have crossed into the U.S. if she’d known about the new zero-tolerance policy.

Another CA City Votes to Oppose CA “Sanctuary State”

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Carlsbad’s City Counsel voted 4 to 1 to support the federal lawsuit against California’s law which prohibits local law enforcement from investigating or reporting the immigration status of arrestees to the federal government.

The report gives the following tally of municipal and county actions to date:

So far three cities — National City, Chula Vista and San Diego — have stepped up to support the state law, while two jurisdictions — Escondido and San Diego County — have voted to oppose it.

New “Zero Tolerance” Policy Announced for Illegal Entry

On May 7, the LA Times reports that Attorney General Sessions announced a new “zero tolerance policy for persons entering the United States illegally. Under this policy, all persons entering the United States illegally will be charged with a crime. The story also warns that as part of the prosecutions, families could be separated.

Sessions also said that families who illegally cross the border may be separated after their arrest, with children sent to juvenile shelters while their parents are sent to adult detention facilities. Until now, border agents tried to keep parents and their children at the same detention site.

Read moreNew “Zero Tolerance” Policy Announced for Illegal Entry

Immigration Consequences of Crimes

An immigrant can be removed (deported) and excluded from coming into the United States if he is convicted of a “crime involving moral turpitude” (CIMT), certain drug offenses, or “aggravated felony.” CIMT are not specifically defined. However, the general idea conveyed in the immigration law is that these crimes include fraud, larceny and harm to persons or property. Whether driving under the influence will be considered as a CIMT depends on the circumstances.

Crimes against the person involve moral turpitude when criminal intent is an element of the offense. Such criminal intent may be inferred from the presence of unjustified violence or the use of a dangerous weapon. Often, lesser related offenses or lesser degrees of the same offenses might not involve moral turpitude absent criminal intent, unjustified violence, or the use of a dangerous weapon as elements of the offense.

Examples of crimes against the person found to involve moral turpitude (CIMT):

Read moreImmigration Consequences of Crimes