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  1. #1
    Senior Member cvangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    ICE's rebuttal to Chronicle's 3-day series

    Letters: ICE's rebuttal to 3-day series
    Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
    Nov. 25, 2008, 10:24PM

    WE strongly disagree with many of the assertions raised in the Chronicle's series on immigration enforcement and do not believe the series presented an accurate depiction of current facts. Indeed, a broader view paints a very different picture. (Please see "Special report: Elusive justice / Thousands of inmates admit they're in the U.S. illegally, but even those convicted of violent crimes are often released right back onto Houston's streets," Page One, Nov. 16, day one of three.)

    At Immigration and Customs Enforcement, we share the view that removing criminal aliens must be a top priority of ICE's enforcement efforts. ICE, however, cannot remove and deport criminal aliens in state or local jails that it does not know about. State and local officials have to be willing to share that informa-tion in a timely fashion in order for such removals to take place. This is precisely why ICE has worked aggressively to pursue cooperation with state and local officials that will facilitate targeting criminal aliens for removal. Coopera-tion in parts of Texas has been excellent, and in other parts, it has not been forthcoming. ICE, however, is continually im-proving its partnerships with many law enforcement agen-cies across the state of Texas to combat this difficult problem.

    In 2008, ICE's Houston Field Office issued 13,300 charging documents against incarcerated criminal aliens; an increase of 31 percent from last year. Perhaps even more telling is the fact that almost half of the 15,700 illegal aliens removed from the Houston area had prior criminal convictions. The success we've had in Houston also reflects our national results. Last year, ICE removed more than 358,000 illegal aliens from the United States. These statistics are the real facts that unequivocally demonstrate ICE's success in removing criminal aliens from the United States. But these successes in no way mean our job is done. With respect to criminal aliens in the United States, our goal remains simple — to create a system that does everything possible to keep America safe from criminal aliens.

    Chronicle readers need only remember the May 2003 tragedy from Victoria or the September 2006 murder of a Houston Police Department officer to see the callous dis-regard for human life displayed by some of those who break our immigration and criminal laws. Criminal behavior such as this presents many challenges to both federal and state law enforcement agencies. These challenges require new approaches and partnerships; and ICE continues to make progress through the development of innovative programs.

    One such program involves the training ICE may provide under section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. On Feb. 11, the Harris County Sheriff's Office requested this training, and the resulting cross designation between ICE and state and local officers allows ICE to partner and leverage local law enforcement resources to pursue its mission. The agreement between ICE and Harris County became operational earlier this month. ICE's 287(g) program has been very successful nationwide, and last year more than 45,000 individuals placed into removal proceedings by our 287(g)-trained partners.

    Second, ICE's creation of the Secure Communities Program will transform the way that ICE cooperates with state and local law enforce-ment agencies and how crim-inal aliens are processed. Secure Communities is a comprehensive plan to identify and remove criminal aliens by using technology to share information between law enforcement agencies so that ICE will be able to automa-tically make positive identifi-cations of suspected criminal aliens. ICE is already piloting this program in Harris County and is aggressively seeking to expand the program to other counties as quickly as possible.

    In addition to our success in removing more and more illegal aliens every year, ICE's targeting of criminal aliens resulted in 221,000 incarcer-ated criminal aliens being placed into removal proceed-ings last year. Our efforts to remove an increasing number of criminal and other illegal aliens have had a significant impact on illegal migration generally. This fact is validated by recent studies indicating the rate of illegal immigration has slowed, citing more effective immigration enforcement as a contributing factor.

    While I appreciate the Chronicle's attempt to bring this important issue to its readers' attention, I question the report's narrow focus.
    The challenge posed by illegal migration is much larger, and
    I assure you that the steps
    ICE is taking to address this challenge are making our streets and neighborhoods safer.

    JOHN P. TORRES acting assistant secretary, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Washington, D.C. ... 32595.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member Populist's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Good response from ICE, and more inconvenient facts for the OBL.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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