How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

ICE announces 'immigration hold' guidelines while hitting new deportation record

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An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officer prepares an undocumented Salvadorian immigrant for a deportation flight bound for San Salvador.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is responding to state and local leaders' recent efforts to cut down on the number of immigrants held for deportation by issuing its own set of guidelines for what are known as "immigration detainers," released Friday.

But despite reports of a recent dropoff in deporation cases at the court level, the Obama adminstation has continued to deport record numbers of people, at least through fiscal year 2012. During that time, immigration authorities removed more than 409,000 people.

State or local law enforcement places immigration detainers, or holds, on individuals if that person is deemed deportable. The holds are standard practice in the enforcement of Secure Communities, a federal program that allows peace officers to share the fingerprints of people booked at local facilities with Homeland Security. If there is a match, the local agency is asked to hold the person for deportation by immigration officials.