Some Ohio immigration-reform groups claim a program created to catch criminal illegal immigrants is also sending away people who have not committed any crimes.
These groups claim that 25% of the people deported by the federal Secure Communities program had never had any criminal conviction. In other places, they claim more than half of those deported through the program had no criminal record.
“We’re not talking about people who are truly dangerous criminals,” a representative of the ACLU explained. “These are people who are getting caught in the dragnet of law enforcement.
“We’re talking about people who want to work, who want to pay taxes, who just want to be left alone to live.”
A New York Criminal Lawyer has looked into ICE records and learned that from January 2010 through February 2011, 240 people were deported from Ohio. 123 of them had never been convicted of anything. This did include, however, people were charged with misdemeanors or felony charges that were either unproven or later dropped.
As for ICE, they claim it is their top priority to deport criminals. They told an NYC Criminal Lawyer that their Secure Communities program has identified more than 21,000 illegal immigrants convicted of such crimes as murder, rape, and child abuse in the three years of its operation.
Others say the agents are focusing on immigrants who are working, have families, or are high school students. They have been urging the president and other federal leaders to cause a change in the immigration program.
Even the union of immigration agents was unhappy with ICE. “Senior ICE leadership dedicated more time to campaigning for immigration reforms aimed at large-scale amnesty legislation than advising the American public and federal lawmakers on the severity of the illegal immigration problem,” the union stated.
Groups against illegal immigration claim these opposition groups are always trying to “water down immigration laws.”
“Being in a country illegally is a deportable offense,” a member of anti-illegal immigration groups said. “They’re in this country illegally, and they’re taking jobs from Americans. Their criminal status shouldn’t matter.”
Regardless of status, everyone in the United States accused of criminal activity should have access to legal counsel. Contact Stephen Bilkis and Associates for advice and counsel.