How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

ICE deportation reviews by the numbers, updated

Photo by olongapowoodcraft/Flickr (Creative Commons)


A post last month broke down the Obama administration's deportation case reviews by the numbers though mid-April, looking at how many cases had been reviewed and how many had been shelved, which wasn't many.

With the bulk of the roughly 300,000 initial reviews of pending cases completed by now, much the same holds true. Of these, a little more than 4,000 deportation cases have been administratively closed or dismissed since the reviews began in November, although immigration officials say there will be more.

Meanwhile, about 111,000 newly filed cases are also being reviewed as they are added to the immigration court caseload. The idea behind the reviews, announced last summer, is to weed out "low priority" immigrants who could be eligible to stay under new prosecutorial discretion guidelines established by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Trust Act 2.0: Will California say no to cops holding immigrants for ICE?

Photo by Jason Nahrung/Flickr (Creative Commons)


California legislators are moving in that direction, at least. A state Senate committee has approved a bill dubbed TRUST Act 2.0, which proposes restricting who it is that law enforcement agencies can hold for deportation at the request of immigration officials.

The bill, which was approved 5-2 today in the Senate Public Safety Committee, has a roundabout history: About this time last year, the original TRUST Act (the acronym stands for "Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools") was moving through the statehouse. Back then, the bill aimed to make optional California counties and cities’ participation in the Secure Communities immigration enforcement program.

The controversial program was first rolled out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2008. It allows the fingerprints of people booked at local jails to be shared with immigration officials. If there is a records match, local authorities must hold the person for ICE and pending removal. Critics say it casts too wide of a net, landing some who haven't committed a crime in deportation.

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Posts of the week: Hockey madness with Russian roots, bicultural marriages, Startup Act 2.0, detention reforms under attack, more

Screen shot, FromRussiaWithGlove.com

This week has brought the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, the California Primary election and an interesting measure in Compton tied to changing demographics, and deliberations in Congress over what Homeland Security should be spending, including on immigrant detainees. That, and an ongoing conversation on interracial and interethnic marriages, which has continued online after a popular public event last week at KPCC in Pasadena.

Without further ado, a few highlighted posts from the week.

Monday

Website combines hockey madness and Russian roots, with (g)love The National Hockey League's website has content in eight languages, a testament to its international makeup and fan base. Russian players are well-represented, and in the U.S. they draw Russian American fans. Enter FromRussiaWithGlove.com, a unique English-language site for fans of Russian players edited Sergei Miledin, a 1.5 generation Russian American and New Jersey Devils fan.

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ICE deportation reviews by the numbers, explained

The review of some 300,000 deportation cases in the nation's backlogged immigration courts recently led to some confusing headlines after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that about 16,500 pending cases would be temporarily put on hold, which some translated into these cases being "shelved."

But that's not exactly how it works. As the review process continues, there are no guarantees for those so far deemed eligible for relief. And even for the few spared removal to date, the future is uncertain.

Here's some of the recently released ICE data on the deportation reviews, followed by an explanation of what it means. From ICE:

• In total, ICE has reviewed 219,554 pending cases with approximately 16,544, or 7.5%, identified as amenable for prosecutorial discretion as of April 16, 2012.

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L.A. County inmates released to ICE, by the numbers

Photo by 888bailbonds/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A Los Angeles County prisoner bus, June 2009. The county participates in the federal 287(g) program.

Crowding, violence and allegations of civil rights abuses are among the reasons the embattled Los Angeles County jail system is under federal investigation. But the county has also faced criticism in recent years in some circles for its federal-local partnerships with immigration authorities.

Sheriff Lee Baca a supporter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's controversial Secure Communities enforcement program, which allows for the fingerprints of people booked into local jails to be shared with immigration officials. The county has also long participated in a smaller voluntary federal-local partnership called 287(g), in which deportable inmates are identified and released post-conviction to immigration officials.

How many L.A. County inmates are released to ICE? The 2011 numbers are found buried in new report on the county jail system from an independent justice expert, which among other things recommended closing the Men's Central Jail downtown because of violence problems.

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