Report: Most deportation detainees in Miami not dangerous

April 15, 2013 at 8:11 AM
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MIAMI, April 15 (UPI) -- Most people detained for deportation in Miami-Dade County, Fla., through an immigration enforcement program were not dangerous criminals, a report said Monday.

The 57-page report, "False Promises: The Failure of the Secure Communities in Miami-Dade County," said a majority of the detentions for deportation in the county are at odds with the federal Secure Communities program that began in 2008, the Miami Herald reported.

Under the program, foreign nationals who are repeat violators of immigration laws and those who are a threat to public safety are to be detained and deported, the newspaper said.

"Contrary to these policy goals, we found that 61 percent of individuals ordered for removal from Miami-Dade County are either low-level offenders or not guilty of the crime for which they were arrested," said the report, prepared by Americans for Immigrant Justice and the Research Institute on Social & Economic Policy at Florida International University's Center for Labor Research & Studies.

Through the program, the names and fingerprints of people arrested by police are given to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which checks for foreign nationals who might be subject to deportation, the Herald reported.

"More than 95 percent of the 254,249 removals generated through Secure Communities clearly fell within one of ICE's enforcement priorities," a statement from the agency said.

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