Now that the GOP presidential candidates opened the proverbial immigration can of worms, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) decided to reexamine a Warren Institute study that is being touted on both sides of the political aisle.
Looking at ICE’s Secure Communities program, CIS found the Warren Institute report (located at the University of California, Berkeley Law School) is misleading. CIS released its first in a three-part series report using the identical database that the Warren Institute's analyzed.
After obtaining the documents from a Freedom of Information Act request, CIS concluded the Institute report contained factual flaws.
CIS contends that the Warren Institute obtained the ICE records and those documents reveal a disturbing pattern of abuse of authority by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE). The Warren Institute further claims ICE participated in numerous unlawful actions including; wrongful arrests of thousands of U.S. citizens, a pattern of racial profiling against Latinos, and denial of due process for aliens in removal proceedings.
The allegations made by the Warren Institute has since made main-stream media headlines as well as captured many Congressional members attention.
While the Center for Immigration Studies agrees “the ICE database does provide an interesting and relatively rare snapshot of the actual Secure Communities caseload,” they found that the records they reexamined didn’t support any allegations that ICE abused their authority.
Some of the results from the CIS study include;
* The database contains no records of U.S. citizens who were detained by or for ICE. It is impossible to assert based on this data, as the critics have, that thousands of U.S. citizens, or any number of U.S. citizens, have been arrested by ICE through Secure Communities.
* The Warren Institute report contains serious methodological and interpretive errors that lead its authors to unsubstantiated conclusions and cast doubt on the credibility of the entire analysis. For example, the authors analyzed only 23 percent of the original random sample requested from ICE.
* ICE’s failure to counter the report’s misleading statements is contributing to the spread of misconceptions about Secure Communities among the media, state and local leaders, and the public. This raises doubts as to the agency leaders’ commitment to full and effective implementation of the program.
* We agree with the Warren Institute authors on the issue of the need for improved transparency at ICE and its parent Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The first set of findings can be found online at http://cis.org/SC-by-the-numbers-critique-part1.
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