Over the last five years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has jailed a record number of immigrants. Some say these immigrants with no status have been jailed because of a little known mandate established by conservative lawmakers. In 2006, conservative lawmakers issued a policy that requires ICE to keep a certain number of immigrants in custody per day. That number has steadily risen over the past few years and is now 34,000 detainees in custody per day.
Meanwhile, the border crossings from Mexico have fallen back to 1970 levels. Advocates for change in the quota argue that ICE is digging deep into the criminal justice system to find immigrants to fill the custody quota. Also, immigrants engaging in civil infractions, for example, traffic tickets, are being detained in greater numbers as well.
The question that remains is whether this policy benefits the United States government. It is costly to detain the 34,000 or so immigrants while their cases are pending trial. Cheaper alternatives to detention are available, such as ankle bracelets and other forms of electronic monitoring. Finally, at the end of costly detention, many of these immigrants are granted administrative closure, cancellation of removal, or asylum, are then released and allowed to remain in the United States.
If you or a loved one is detained, ask an experienced attorney if you are eligible for bond, and what amount of bond the Court may issue. Call us at 253-383-4200 to take action on your case.