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Detentions & Deportations

CIIC Detentions Subcommittee

CIIC members who provide front line services to immigrants are often called on to assist Irish immigrants who are detained on immigration violations and to visit Irish immigrants who are charged and/or convicted in criminal court. In the absence of family in the US the Irish Centers and the Irish Consulates are often the only contact with home that the prisoners have.

In the current anti-immigrant atmosphere, policies and laws are being implemented that make things increasingly difficult for immigrants. The CIIC Detentions Subcommittee is studying the impact of these policies on the Irish community. This information will help us to identify needs and inform our advocacy agenda. We will be better positioned to develop programs and provide information to assist immigrants, detainees and prisoners.

Some Statistics

› In 2006, 27,634 detainees were under the jurisdiction of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This represented a 41% increase (or 8,072 detainees) from year end 2005.

› The majority of the increase has occurred in states closer to the southern border and is accounted for by immigrants who say their country of origin is Mexico or Central America. In the Northeast, it is especially apparent how increased enforcement is impacting Irish immigrants with an increase in detentions for immigration violations.

› This increase in those detained for immigration violations is reflected in the National Statistics where over half (50.7% or 14,015) of the detainees were held on immigration law violations, 40% were held for criminal offenses, and the remaining 9.3% were pending charges or disposition.

› From year end 2005 to 2006, the percentage of detainees held for immigration law violations increased by 79%.