State and local law enforcement agencies are responsible for six of every 10 immigrants detained in the United States, according to a report released Tuesday by the Obama administration.
The New York Times says the report paints a picture of a costly, inappropriately penal system that is growing without basic tools for management and monitoring, while the government office nominally in charge struggles with high turnover and a lack of expertise.
Though the administration has indicated that it wants to concentrate immigration enforcement on serious criminal offenders, the report shows that one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of the population in detention is noncriminals picked up in the enforcement programs the government has embraced. Those figures are among the surprises in the 35-page report, produced for Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security. The report shows that 60 percent of the 380,000 people detained during the 2009 fiscal year had been turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement by state and local police, mostly through the Criminal Alien Program.