Critic: ICE Exaggerates Significance Of Mass Drug Arrests


Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft is questioning whether the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is hyping its drug arrests. The agency said it arrested 476 people in 83 cities last week in its largest-ever drug operation. Merritt notes that ICE describes those arrested as “gang members, associates and other criminals. She says: “If you run a car repair shop and your number is dialed from a gang member’s phone, you can be called “an associate.” It’s a term that means nothing. If you have a DUI or a theft record, you are an “other criminal.”

Who’d they get? A cartel leader? A narco-terrorist? Not quite. According to the ICE press release, the three big catches were people who were not even charged with drugs or weapons violations, just illegal reentry and parole violations. Of 16,000 ICE arrests since 2005, more than 9,000 were not charged with crimes but rather immigration violations. Declares Merritt: “That’s a huge number of innocent people to arrest.”

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