ACLU wants to make it easier for illegals to evade deportation orders

Mark Metcalf:
A case now working its way to the U.S. Supreme Court,Lopez-Valenzuela v. Maricopa County, pits the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against Arizona and its mandatory detention of accused felons who are also illegally present in the United States. This practice, claims the ACLU, is unconstitutional.

Intended to prevent flight from prosecution, the measure makes it more likely offenders will stand trial and, if convicted, will eventually be deported. Approved by Arizona voters in 2006, the law reflects a standard frustration with broken federal promises to secure borders and enforce removal orders. This same frustration mirrors both the aspiration and the gridlock in Congress over immigration reform.

Urging the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the measure, the ACLU asserted no empirical data show those illegally present are a greater flight risk than any other group. "It's unfair," it argued, "to subject [illegal immigrants] to rules that don't apply to everyone else." Some fact checking is appropriate.

Indeed, immigrant offenders often fail to follow the rules — that is, attend court like everyone else. Immigration court records from 1996 through 2012 show 76 percent of 1.1 million deportation orders were issued against those who evaded court.1 These evasions compose the greatest source of unexecuted deportation orders in the immigration court system. Not even a quarter of those free pending trial — some 268,000 — actually came to court and finished their cases. By contrast, accused felons in America's state courts — those also free pending trial — seldom missed; only 24 percent according to a 2007 Justice Department study.2

Notably, those persons detained pending trial produced wholly different results. Over the same 17-year period, immigration courts handed down 2.7 million removal orders — 60 percent of them, or 1.6 million — in detention facilities.3 Up to 96 percent of these removal orders, records say, were actually executed.4 With flight not an option, detainees were removed at their cases' completion. When not detained, results were predictable.

Not only did many flee court, but seldom were they re-arrested. ICE reported its highest fugitive re-arrest numbers in 2008, when agents apprehended a total of 34,000 people, or 6 percent, from a fugitive population of 592,000. Since then, ICE has abandoned its immigration fugitive program and fugitives have increased 51 percent to just under 842,000.5 History provides context.

A 1989 GAO report found that "Aliens have nothing to lose by failing to appear for hearings and, in effect, ignoring the deportation process."6 This disregard, the study concluded, stemmed from a "general lack of repercussions" because few ordered removed are ever deported. Numbers and narratives tell the story.7
There is more.

The numbers are so overwhelming it is surprising that even the ACLU would be making this argument.  Why, don't they ask for a Democrat voter registration card when they are turned loose too?   This continues to be an administration that ignores the rule of law when it comes to immigration.


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