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Down overall, unauthorized immigrant arrests up 78 pct in Buffalo

Reporters from EFE just pulled data on immigration enforcement actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last year and found some surprising trends. Nationwide, the number of unauthorized immigrants arrested dropped by 23 percent during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013. Notably, the ICE office in Miami prosecuted 33 percent fewer people for immigration offenses. Arrests of undocumented people also dropped substantially in Miami, as well as in Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and San Diego.

We didn't see quite the same trend here in New York, unfortunately. In Buffalo, the monthly arrest rate for unauthorized immigrants jumped by 78 percent. More alarming, the number of people without proper immigration paperwork being held in ICE detention in New York was up by 10 percent.

While Buffalo led the list of cities in which ICE arrests increased by a large margin, at least New York wasn't the area sending the most new people to ICE detention. Between fiscal year 2012 and 2013, the number of unauthorized-immigrant detainees in the District of Colombia shot up by 64 percent.

Whatever the percentages or trends may be, the U.S. deported 368,644 unauthorized migrants last year. That's an average of 17,691 each month. It's certainly good to know that's lower than the monthly average for the past three fiscal years of 30,941, but it's still a shockingly high number.

As we've discussed on this blog before, immigration detainees who commit no other crime than being in the U.S. without the proper paperwork have often been subjected to harsh treatment -- even conditions the UN says amount to torture.

Even when their treatment is relatively humane, ICE detainees may be sent out of state for detention, making it hard for their families to visit. They may be minors being held in adult detention centers beyond the legal limit of 72 hours. They may even be wrongly-detained U.S. citizens. Clearly, every one of these individuals deserves a full and fair hearing. How can we possibly ensure they're getting one when over 500 people are being deported every single day?

Source: Fox News Latino, "Number of undocumented immigrants arrested in the U.S. declines," EFE, Jan. 27, 2014

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