ICE immigration enforcement
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is one of the branches of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has several tasks such as conducting investigations and operations to locate undocumented immigrants across the US, oversee immigration detention centers, prevent illegal immigration, and protect borders.
However, methods and protocols used by this border entity are often classified as “extreme, invasive and arbitrary”, which have also unleashed an immigration and humanitarian crisis during the last decades. This is primarily because ICE commonly implements mass detention and deportation strategies, but does not improve the local law enforcement system.
Now, with President Trump heading the current administration of the US, ICE’s radical strategies to reduce and curb illegal immigration have increased substantially in recent years, which, at the same time, worsens the health crisis generated by the global Coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, official DHS figures reveal that the US has deported more than twice as many immigrants during the first two decades of the 21st century, compared to the rest of the country’s history.
This not only affects the most vulnerable immigrant communities, who need international protection, but shows that the federal government has had to invest large amounts of taxpayer money to keep current immigration protocols, which could be invested in other areas to improve the quality of life for American citizens.
Do you need help with an immigration case? Contact Motion Law and follow the advice of our experienced attorneys.
Report proposes new methods to improve the local immigration system
On November 30, 2020, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report called “A New Paradigm for Humane and Effective Immigration Enforcement.” This report proposes strategies that could be implemented by the administration of President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office in January 2021, to improve the immigration system, protect the integrity of vulnerable communities and avoid a humanitarian catastrophe at the borders of the US.
Some of CAP’s main proposals are:
- Reduce investment for ICE immigration enforcement (mass detention and deportation operations), which has generated disastrous repercussions for immigrant communities and also contradicts the values of the US.
That investment must be redirected to other goals such as federal criminal law enforcement.
- The local immigration system should offer undocumented immigrants opportunities to comply with the law and follow legitimate immigration processes, mainly because most are eligible to apply for a legal residence permit. This strategy could decrease the number of deportations and allow the government to invest in other sectors.
CAP assures that this action plan could allow the US to have a more humane and supportive approach to immigration.
- Add immigration penalties other than deportation, which is usually quite extreme for most cases.
- Undocumented immigrants who do not pose a threat to the American population do not necessarily have to be detained in an immigrant center. ICE could implement follow-up methods to make sure they attend their immigration hearings or appointments, without being in an overcrowded facility that endangers their health in the midst of the global pandemic.
- Avoid intervention of political ideals among immigration judges and guarantee impartiality in immigration courts.
CAP assures that an immigration reform is already under way thanks to the insistence and perseverance of activists, immigrant rights advocates, immigration attorneys and immigrant communities, who do not rest in their fight against racism and xenophobia.
The report concludes that the Biden administration has the opportunity to change the immigration paradigm if it acts quickly, strategically and intelligently. CAP says Biden must implement a series of executive orders to “articulate to the American people a new vision for immigration enforcement that is not only less costly and brutal but also more effective.”
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