Friday, December 30, 2011

New ICE Detention Hotline: Pros and Cons

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced new measures yesterday that they hope ensure that individuals being held by state or local law enforcement on immigration detainers would be notified about their potential removal from the country and be made aware of their rights.

The measures include a new detainer form and also the launch of a toll-free hotline — (855) 448-6903 — that detained individuals can call if they believe they may be U.S. citizens or victims of a crime.

Image source
The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by ICE personnel at the Law Enforcement Support Center. Translation services will be available in several languages from 7 a.m. until midnight (Eastern) seven days a week. ICE personnel will collect information from the individual and refer it to the relevant ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office for immediate action.

However, Michael Wildes, a former federal prosecutor and prominent immigration attorney, blasted Federal immigration officials for the telephone hotline :

 “This hotline represents a woefully inadequate and farcical attempt at due process. It presupposes that immigrant detainees - regardless of status - will possess both the moxie and the blind faith in our government to call ICE when they feel they have been detained in violation of their civil rights. It is preposterous to assume that an agency that has deported a record number of individuals this year will now represent a haven for civil rights for immigrants when threatened by state and local enforcement.”

ICE deported 10.3 percent more people in 2011 than in 2008, the last full year of the George W. Bush administration, and double the total for 2001. While the administrations claims it is deporting criminal offenders, a closer look reveals that, because the administration is using an expansive definition of criminal, the deportation list includes tens of thousands of petty offenders, according to information in the Orange County Register.

1 comment:

shahrukh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.