New Data: ICE Has Deported Over 87,000 Parents of U.S. Children
By:   //  Citizen Journalism

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The deportations by ICE of parents of U.S. kids became a viral topic over the past summer. Under President Donald Trump, the practice shows no sign of slowing down.

It all began in July 2010, when Congress began requiring U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (known as ICE) to ask immigrants whether they are parents to minor children who are U.S. citizens. Eight years later, data from ICE reveals  tens of thousands of deported parents gave birth to U.S. citizens.

Breaking records

According to three recent years’ worth of data reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity, ICE deported 87,351 people between 2015 and the end of 2017. All claim to have at least one child with U.S. citizenship.

In 2015 alone, ICE deported more than 31,411 parents of minor citizen children. Though the number declined slightly to 28,960 in 2016, stats from the second half of 2017 broke records, increasing by 2,152 over the first half of 2017.

The data for 2018 is not yet available.

Trump’s crackdown treats undocumented immigrants as criminals, regardless of how many engaged in criminal acts besides crossing the southern border illegally. Cross-referenced data to determine how many deported parents of citizen children have or don’t have criminal records would be helpful. ICE does issue estimate reports of deportees with criminal records, however, this information is not available to the public.

58 Percent Had No Criminal Convictions

A Syracuse University-based research organization has published some numbers. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) recently created a profile of detainees that were held in 2017 ICE detention centers. From the results, ICE was holding 44,435 in custody this year, 58 percent of which had no criminal convictions. A smaller number, 21 percent, had committed a minor infraction. About five percent had committed an offense defined in the “other” category.

The report by TRAC says four out of five detainees “either had no record or had only committed a minor offense such as a traffic violation.”

Currently, ICE’s priority for deportation is undocumented immigrants who have spent a short time in the country, and committed a felony. In 2015, over 80% of deportees had taken part in a serious crime, according to the ICE enforcement and removal operations report.

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