U.S. immigration officials laid out plans last year that would ratchet up expulsions of immigrants convicted of minor crimes as part of an urgent push to make sure the government would not fall short of its criminal deportation targets, new records obtained by USA TODAY show.
Among those new tactics — detailed in interviews and internal e-mails — were trolling state driver's license records for information about foreign-born applicants, dispatching U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to traffic safety checkpoints conducted by police departments, and processing more illegal immigrants who had been booked into jails for low-level offenses. Records show ICE officials in Washington approved some of those steps.
"If this is what ICE is currently doing, it's very problematic," said Gregory Chen, the director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Chen said such tactics contradict immigration officials' public pledges to streamline enforcement by focusing on dangerous criminals and show that the agency instead sought to "increase its criminal alien numbers by pursuing people with minor offenses like traffic violations."Read the whole story HERE.