Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 3, 2013 – U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement agents may have been contemplating extensive profiling.
According to The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, emails have been obtained which strongly indicate that the U.S. government was contemplating racial profiling to meet deportation quotas.
Emails from May 2012 show at least 10 initiatives by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement to bump the number of deported “criminal aliens,” including a plan that involved working with that state’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The ACLU has voiced concern that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has been or continues to be working under a deportation quota.
“The emails obtained by the ACLU seem to indicate that ICE was working under quotas, rather than on a case-by-case basis,” notes Houston Immigration lawyer Annie Banerjee.
In the emails, it is noted by ICE officials that deportation numbers had been falling short in the region by 1,200 compared to the prior year. The DMV project would include pulling a listing of temporary driver’s licenses issued to foreign-born applicants, as well as a database of denied driver’s license applications, and working off that list for deportation efforts.
The emails were obtained by the ACLU during an investigation following up on complaints that ICE agents were stopping drivers during a “seat belt check” in Jackson, and then questioning drivers on their immigration status. A spokesman for Atlanta’s ICE Field Office has stated that there is no deportation quota, but that there are performance “targets” set in place by Congress in order to justify and maintain budgets. ICE agents were at the checkpoint in question, he says, due to a request by local law enforcement. ICE agents detained 15 drivers during the seat belt check, and all but one had a criminal record. Roughly 75 percent of the individuals who were deported from the area had been convicted of a crime; 66 percent were considered serious offenders. The other 34 percent who were deported had been convicted previously of DWI offenses.
Officials state that the DMV project was not implemented; the only initiative currently in place is one where ICE agents work with local jails to identify the immigration statuses of those held prior to their release.
ICE has stated that their focus is to remove “criminal aliens” and multiple illegal border crossers.
Annie Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer specializing in helping people become United States citizens. The law offices assist in visas and other legal immigration requirements as well. To learn more, visit http://www.visatous.com.
Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
131 Brooks Street, Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139