Patterico's Pontifications


Stop the Presses! ICE Arrests a Tiny Fraction of 1% of the Outstanding Fugitive Aliens in the U.S.

Filed under: General,Immigration — Patterico @ 12:24 am

The media is buzzing about the ICE raids that netted 1300 arrestees. For example, the L.A. Times reports:

Federal officers in Southern California over the last two weeks have arrested more than 1,300 immigrants, most of whom either have criminal records or have failed to abide by deportation orders — part of an intensifying but controversial effort across the nation to remove such violators.

Yeah, it’s really controversial to arrest illegal immigrants who have committed crimes or ignored deportation orders.

By the way, of the 1300, about 800 of them were in jail anyway. Don’t get me wrong; it’s nice that ICE found them and all. But they should be doing this anyway. They should be placing a hold on every single illegal alien who comes through any county jail. It’s hard to see how it’s worth calling a press conference to brag about how they managed to get their mitts on 800 of them — while leaving 34,000 per year undetected in L.A. County alone.

Of the remaining 530 or so, only 258 were actually fugitive aliens, defined as illegals who have either ignored a deportation order or come back after being deported. (The Orange County Register has the breakdown.)

One little problem: as of August 2006, there were 623,292 illegal alien fugitives in the country.

So: 258 down — and 623,034 to go.

So we got, what — four hundreds of a percent of them?

As Clarence Thomas might say: Whoop-dee-damn-doo.

8 Responses to “Stop the Presses! ICE Arrests a Tiny Fraction of 1% of the Outstanding Fugitive Aliens in the U.S.”

  1. four hundreds of a percent of them?

    ICE could probably do better by randomly picking names in the phone book.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  2. It’s a step in the right direction.

    Add a border fence where appropriate, tough sanctions against employers, increasing enforcement, no driver’s license, etc., for illegal aliens, no welfare benefits, etc., and vicious criminals deported ASAP and you’ll save the southern states of your country from being purposely annexed.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  3. Perfect Sense: Only if they didn’t racially profile, and go after names like Juarez and Hernandez. That would be just wrong! There must be an equal chance that Smiths and Guggenheims and Napolitanos get selected.

    Dana (3e4784)

  4. Perhaps the problem is with the notion of a “deportation order.” What the heck is that, an order which says, “You can’t be here, so go home, pack up your stuff, and you have to leave within thirty days?” Why aren’t people subject to deportation simply deported while they are in custody?

    Dana (3e4784)

  5. Would it be discrimination if the biggest immigration lawyer who claims he is here illegally is arrested and deported? How about checking the immigration status of those people milling around outside of Home Depot who can’t understand English?

    PCD (b47ba5)

  6. FWIW, I checked with my local police, sheriff, and Texas DPS. They participate in the ICE Criminal Alien Program. Each day a list of newly jailed persons is sent to ICE for review, and ICE investigates any who may not be legal. Those who aren’t legal are turned over to ICE or held for prosecution.

    Every jurisdiction could do this.

    DRJ (d48e2d)

  7. I’m being nitpicky here but… As far as I know the commonly accepted number of illegals in the US is 12,000,000 that makes 1% 120,000 not 600,000 plus. So if it is true that 1% of illegals are fugitives then ICE picked up 1% of that 1%. At the same time this is going on another 186 illegals were arrested in NY, 600 have been caught since April in DC and suburbs and so on. The point being the numbers are small at the moment but this is a variation of a compound interest problem. (or a population curve) as long as a certain percentage is arrested and deported each month the total decreases and a a certain point the decreases become dramatic.

    chad (719bfa)

  8. I served as a criminal investigator with the INS in LA and SF in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. My recollection is that we had about 750 investigators nationwide. We had officers assigned to LA County Jail, screening folks who’d been arrested and placing immigration holds on anyone here illegally. In the Bay area, I covered Marin and Sonoma County jails, picking up illegals who’d been arrested on criminal charges.

    There was also a special group called CINS (Criminal, Immoral, Narcotic & Subversive) responsible for picking up alien felons being released from state prison to begin deportation proceedings. They only handled a small percentage of the total number of alien felons, just those known to the INS.

    We all knew that we were mostly a token force, unable to actually arrest and deport anything more than a fraction of the illegal aliens in the US. We were sure that the ones against whom we initiated deportation proceedings deserved it. We also believed that our enforcement actions deterred some folks from coming in illegally.

    I think amnesty in 1986 changed the enforcement priorities. Luckily, by then I was in law school, my period of public service complete.

    Tim (347b6a)

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