Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

ICE agents ride shotgun with local law enforcement, taking deportations to the streets

by Patt Morrison

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An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officer prepares an undocumented Salvadorian immigrant for a deportation flight bound for San Salvador on December 8, 2010 in Mesa, Arizona. Of the 111 Salvadorians on the flight, most had criminal records and were sent home in chains. John Moore/Getty Images

Deportations of illegal immigrants have increased under President Obama’s first two years in office but the administration is apparently searching for more ways to ensnare and deport undocumented people with criminal backgrounds. A pilot program in the San Diego County town of Escondido could be a sign of things to come—two agents of the Immigration & Customs Enforcement agency have been working out of the Escondido police department for the past several months, joining in standard police stops that involved suspected illegal immigrants. If any suspected illegal immigrants are detained during the regular work of Escondido police, from traffic stops to gang sweeps, ICE agents quickly get involved to determine if the suspect has a criminal background or a pending deportation order. The program in Escondido, dubbed “Joint Effort,” has arrested 303 illegal immigrants and placed them in deportation proceedings. Is this new kind of cooperation between local police and ICE to enforce immigration laws a good step or a potentially abusive program?


Jim Maher, Escondido Chief of Police

Kevin Keenan, Executive Director of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties

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