A sharp escalation in the enforcement of immigration laws is yielding a spike in deportations of illegal immigrants and rampant fear in some Detroit neighborhoods that are home to longtime, undocumented residents, reports the Detroit News. Deportations increased 45 percent — from 5,057 to more than 7,500 — in the year ending Sept. 30, establishing a new 12-month record. Federal officials say they are well ahead of that pace for next year.
Said Brian Moskowitz, the agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Detroit, “Now, were some of them good people otherwise? Probably yes. But we have the absolute right to control who comes into the country, and just because it wasn’t done before doesn’t mean it isn’t being done now.” The vigorous enforcement leaves some neighborhoods fearful. Longtime residents are fleeing, leaving American-born children with family and friends or taking them to poorer lives in other lands. Neighbors check with neighbors to determine if federal officials are operating in their area. There is fear of a knock at the door. Amid a surge in crime, residents are afraid to report incidents, fearful police will ask them for documentation.