Amid calls for transparency and accountability, ICE first denied the new tactics and then confirmed their existence. Earlier this week, community and faith groups gathered at the for-profit GEO detention center in Aurora to detail a pattern of misinformation and ICE tactics in direct conflict with two year old guidelines for enforcement and prosecutorial discretion.
Last Friday, community groups criticized ICE’s new tactic, requesting summons data for mainly traffic offenses, as a deportation dragnet.
Gabriela Flora, Policy Director at the American Friends Service Committee, explains the problem this way, “While the Obama Administration has issued policy guidelines outlining priorities for enforcement, ICE consistently uses their budget to meet their stated goal of ‘deporting every deportable [person]’ and to meet their 400,000 people per year quota. Today, we say Aurora doesn’t agree with this goal, Aurora’s goal is diverse and healthy neighborhoods. We reject this quota today.”
This surge, and the request for summons data, flies in the face of ICE's stated priorities and is particularly troubling to see following on the heels of the Administration's recently concluded Prosecutorial Discretion pilot here in Denver.
“I am here today because I believe immigrants are key members of our communities and families, integral to the healthiness of our lives and economies. ICE’s increased presence and lack of transparency only create mistrust, fear and division. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) calls on them to halt their operation and leave our community,” explained Jennifer Piper, Interfaith Organizer at AFSC.
The Obama administration has repeatedly stated that their administrative priorities and directives in regards to immigration have been carefully crafted to ensure that immigrant families are not swept up and destroyed by ICE’s immigration dragnet, with policies such as the Prosecutorial Discretion pilot program.
Lizeth Chacón, Organizer of Rights for
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