By NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, April 1, 2022: Over 15,000 or 72.5 percent of the current immigrants being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, (ICE), have no criminal records.
That’s according to the latest data analyzed by TRAC. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University data shows that as of March 27, 2022, 20,733 immigrants are in ICE detention. Of that number, a whopping 15,033 have no criminal record, also as of March 27, 2022.
Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations, TRAC says. Additionally, most of the immigrants are being held in detention facilities in Texas and Georgia. The Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia has the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2022, averaging 1,117 per day, as of March 2022, TRAC says.
Additionally, ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 200,332 families and single individuals, according to TRAC data as of March 26, 2022.
The news comes as a federal court has approved a landmark settlement barring the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with Southern California immigration judges from setting unreasonable bonds for detained immigrants by failing to consider their financial resources.
The settlement, finalized on Tuesday, March 29, in U.S. District Court, concludes a class-action suit filed in 2016 and litigated by the American Civil Liberties Union along with several private attorneys.
“The settlement puts a stop to the government’s shameful practice of incarcerating immigrants without even considering their ability to pay a bond,” Michael Kaufman, the Sullivan and Cromwell Access to Justice senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California, said Wednesday. “The Constitution forbids incarceration based on poverty, for citizens and noncitizens alike.”
Prior to the settlement, the federal government was not required to consider ability to pay when setting bond for those facing deportation. As a result, scores of immigrants were incarcerated for months or years because they could not afford the bond, the ACLU said.
Cesar Matias, a native of Honduras and plaintiff in the suit, fled to the United States to escape the persecution he suffered because of his sexual orientation. He worked in Los Angeles as a hair stylist and in a clothing factory, according to the complaint.