Panel Transcript: Immigration and Crime

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Welcome and Moderator:
Mark Krikorian,
Executive Director, Center for Immigration Studies

Steven Camarota,
Director of Research, Center for Immigration Studies

Jessica Vaughan,
Director of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies

Gary McLhinney,
Former Police Chief, Maryland Transportation Authority

Thursday, November 19, 2009
National Press Club
Washington, DC

Transcript by

Federal News Service

Washington, D.C.

MARK KRIKORIAN: Good morning. My name is Mark Krikorian. I’m executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank here in Washington that examines the impact of immigration on the United States. “Immigration and Crime” is a subject that is obviously politically sensitive. It’s something most ordinary or sort of higher-level political discussion avoids altogether because of the necessarily potentially inflammatory nature of the subject and, yet, it’s an essential aspect of any issue – in this case, immigration – to talk about the effects on crime and the relationship to crime.

And so that’s what the reports that we’re releasing today are trying to do. The first one is on – is published by – authored by Steve Camarota, our research director, “Immigration and Crime: Assessing a Conflicted Issue.” And Steve will tell you all about the report.

It’s not like a lot of Washington policy reports where there is one headline and that’s the whole point. It’s actually a much more – I hate to use the word “nuanced” – but there is a lot more to it than just one headline. Nonetheless, it’s an essential topic that really needs to be addressed by policymakers and grappled with by policymakers a lot more than it has been.

The second speaker is Jessica Vaughan, our director of policy studies, who is the lead author of another report in there on the 287(g) program. “First Report on Crime” is more general and statistical; the second one is a little more specific on a particular program that immigration and customs enforcement uses with local law enforcement to help local cops use the tools of immigration law in doing their jobs.

And this is really probably the most complete assessment of the 287(g) program using the reports and statistics from a lot of the local jurisdictions. And our third speaker is Gary McLhinney, who is a former head of the Maryland Transportation Authority, in charge of the cops at ports and airports and such in Maryland; before that a long-time Baltimore police officer who was head of the union, the Fraternal Order of Police, in Baltimore, and in his various capacities has dealt with the intersection of immigration and crime, especially in a context of drug smuggling and homeland security.

For first Steve will talk, then Jessica, then Gary and then we’ll have some discussion and Q&A. Steve?

STEVE CAMAROTA: Thank you, Mark. I’m going to start off with kind of an overview, a sort of general discussion of the issue of immigration and crime and then basically the rest of the panel will be more focused, more nuts and bolts or more grounded in what goes on in communities and that sort of thing.

Now, as I’m sure you’re mostly aware, excluding those who have committed crimes from the United States has long been a goal of policymakers and the public. A significant share of the public seems to believe, based on some polls, that immigrants do commit a disproportionate share of crime. On the other hand, there are a very large number of opinion writers and journalists and advocacy groups that have argued just as strongly or even stronger that immigrant crime rates are very low. So if you were to search the Internet, you would certainly find a lot of diversity of opinion.

Now, one of the reports, as Mark said, that we are releasing today, explores this question of immigrant crime or criminality in great detail. You have a copy of it in your packet. It is authored by myself and Jessica Vaughan to my left. One of the main findings is that the lack of good representative data and quite frankly contrary information makes it very difficult to come to a clear conclusion on this question. The bottom line is, anyone who (searched ?) that the issue was settled is either cherry-picking their evidence or is simply uninformed about the latest data.

Now, in my comments, I will try to focus on three main things as quickly as I can. First, I will just touch on why it’s so difficult to study this issue, what are some of the problems – I can’t go through all of them; there are that many; second, what did the older research on this question of immigrant crime and criminality tell us? And what are some of the problems with that older research? And then, third, I will discuss the newest government estimates and data and then some of the problems with those newer estimates and data.

Now, the biggest problem when studying immigrant crime is a lack of good, representative data. With the exception of the federal prison system, which mainly really only tracks citizen/noncitizen, not foreign-born versus native-born – but with the exception of the federal prison system, which accounts for only a small fraction of all those incarcerated – the vast majority of states and local correctional institutions typically have not tried to carefully determine whether a person in their facility is in fact native or foreign born.

If they do try – and more have been trying lately – they typically use self-reporting; that is, they ask the person as their primary way of identifying whether someone is foreign born or not. Because being a noncitizen can lead to deportation, there is in this setting a very obvious incentive for individuals to try and lie about whether they were born outside of the United States, particularly if they are here illegally.

Now, you can try to check immigration databases – and more and more that’s been done and we’re going to talk about those issues, I think, a lot today – but even checking against immigration records doesn’t always answer your question because it must be – remember, there is no definitive list of legal residents and U.S. citizens that you could just check against to find out. And, of course, there is no such list of illegal aliens.

If an illegal immigrant has not had prior contact with an immigration official, their fingerprints and other information, for example, will not be in any government database. There is even less good data on those arrested. At least when it comes to incarceration, we sometimes can get a picture, incomplete though it may be and imperfect though it may be. But when it comes to things like arrests and those charged with crimes, quite frankly, the data is even more incomplete. And, finally, I should point out – and this is clearly the case – even when there is good data, it may not be made public in a way that allows for systematic analysis by researchers.

Now let me talk a little bit about some of the problems with prior research: Two recent and widely cited studies have tried to shed light on this question of immigrant crime by looking at data from the 2000 Census on people in institutions. The census divides the population; one of the things you can look at is people in institutions. And if you look at young men in institutions, you can get a pretty good idea, hopefully, of the prison populations.

The two studies that did this was one by the Public Policy Institute of California entitled “Crime, Corrections and California: What Does Immigration Have to Do with it?” The other is entitled “The Myth of Immigrant Criminality and the Paradox of Assimilation” and was sponsored by the Immigration Policy Institute, a think tank created by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Now, both studies conclude that immigrant crime is low and both studies suffer from a fundamental data problem. And that data problem is this: Although it is well-known within the Census Bureau that the citizenship and country-of-birth data for persons and institutions from the 2000 Census is of very poor quality, both the census – in fact, both the Census Bureau and National Research Council have looked at this question – that fact is not well-known outside of the bureau.

The National Research Council, in its look at the institutionalized population, found that 53 percent of the time, when they were looking at someone in an institution who was a prisoner, they had to make a guess as to whether that person was immigrant or native. Now, in the report, I have a long discussion of how they make those educated guesses. There are lots of issues with those guesses. But the point is, most of the time, they just didn’t know and had to allocate or impute whether the person was immigrant – so that if you run an analysis of institutionalized data in the census, you’re essentially measuring their guesses, not the actual institutionalization of immigrants or natives.

And this is important because these two studies are important, but also a number of other, earlier research had tried to do the same thing to get around these data problems, look at institutionalized people. The problem is actually even maybe greater than I have given you some indication because of the 47 percent who they didn’t allocate or impute; the vast majority of them they never interviewed either – maybe one-tenth. They just looked at administrative record and tried to figure out whether the person was foreign born.

Now, this problem of not being able to determine whether someone is foreign born or immigrant mainly just applies in the census to the institutionalized data. The general data is pretty good from the census – but not for people in institutions.

One way we can really see how poor this data is is just to look at the results. This data shows a 28-percent decline in the number of incarcerated immigrants 1990 to 2000 yet the overall immigrant population grew in America by 59 percent. So you have this very significant decline if you look at the census data for institutions, but the overall census data shows a massive decline – a massive increase, I should say.

Newer census data from 2007 shows you something even more funny: It shows 146-percent increase in the number of incarcerated immigrants in the census data. Yet the overall immigrant population, 2000 to 2007, grew only 22 percent. These wild and implausible swings are a clear illustration of why you can’t use this data for this kind of research. Either that or we are in the midst of a massive increase in immigrant incarceration of 146 percent in just 7 years. And I don’t think that’s the case; it’s just an underlying problem with the data.

Now, in our conversations with people at the Census Bureau, they do feel that the 2000 data is much better; they didn’t have to impute as much; it hasn’t been analyzed as much as the 2000 Census but, nonetheless, what that means is as the data got better, the foreign-born population grew dramatically, which means that in 2000, when they allocated or imputed or made those educated guesses, they were clearly biased towards assigning people who are actually foreign born; they made them native born.

Now, the PPIC study and the IPC study, those two studies I just mentioned, are not the only ones to look at this question. During the last great wave of immigration at the turn of the century there were attempts to look at this question. And although the information was limited then as well, in general, that immigration a hundred years ago, that research, didn’t really find conclusive evidence that immigrants had high crime rates.

And while that may not be at all relevant, you know, what happened a hundred years ago, to what we’re debating now and talking about now, it does remind us that perception that immigrants may have high crime rates and reality may not be the same thing. So that old research, again, may not tell us anything about today, but maybe it helps to remind us of that important fact.

Now, one way researchers in the last two decades have tried to look at the issue of immigration and crime is to compare differences across cities and see if the immigrant share of a city has any impact on the overall crime rate. And, in general, that research does not find clear evidence that immigrants increase crime. But there are two things to keep in mind: One is, it’s only looking at overall crime; again, it’s not looking specifically at the question of whether – at least typically – whether the immigrants themselves have committed a crime. And so you’re trying to estimate or think about immigrant crime by looking at overall crime. And that’s always problematic.

And it should be pointed out that a 2009, a just-completed analysis by the Office of Immigration Statistics in DHS did find higher crime rates in cities that received a significant influx of legal immigrants. And so that tends to undermine those earlier cross-city comparisons.

Now, putting aside that older research, what I would say is one of the new things that we have here is that we were able to get access to government estimates of how many immigrants are incarcerated. We got this information by pestering government officials and by Freedom of Information Act request. And all of that information is there. But let me hit some of the highlights. Probably the most important thing we got out of the Homeland Security Department, a part of their Secure Communities initiative, was that they are estimating that 20 percent of people in the nation’s jails and prisons – and this is not just the federal level where the population isn’t that big, but at the total picture, the jails and the prisons in the United States – 20 percent of inmates are foreign born.

Now, the foreign born are only about 12 or 13 percent of the total population and 15 percent of the adult population in the United States. So that estimate would seem to imply a relatively high rate of incarceration.

Now, we have a long discussion in the report, but let me just say, the biggest problem with that estimate – again, if it’s true, it may tell us a lot – is that we don’t have a detailed methodology statement to go with it. All the methodology that we were able to get from the government as a result of our FOIA request is in the report and it’s in part of the table which they sent us. But it’s not entirely clear how they came up with that estimate.

Another thing we were able to FOIA and get was a report done by the Fentress Corporation. That report looked at jails and prisons and found 22 percent of people incarcerated in America back in 2004 were foreign born. Again, the foreign born are must less than 22 percent of the U.S. population so that would seem to imply a high rate of criminality among immigrants. But, again, the methodology in the Fentress report – some parts of it are detailed, but other parts are not. And we don’t have a complete picture there.

Now, the other thing that I think is important in our report is that we were able to get some really interesting data out of the 287(g) program. This allows us, actually, to look at sometimes specifically the illegal population. This is the program that Jessica will talk about a lot more, but it allows for one thing: It allows local officials to access immigration databases to help determine whether someone is here illegally.

Now, there have been related efforts to 287(g), too. There have been audits done in anticipation of the 287(g) program and some of that data is available in a format that we can actually use to get at this question. And, in short, what we found was that in four of the six counties where we had good 287(g) data and possibly five, really, it does appear that the illegal immigrants make up a much larger fraction of the jail population than they do the overall population of adults in that community. That wasn’t true in every county and one county it does not seem to be true for is Prince William County in Virginia.

But, for example, in a place like Maricopa County, it appears that 22 percent of felons were found to be illegal immigrants and illegals seem to be only about 10 percent of that county’s adult population. In another example, in Lake County, Illinois, illegals are 19 percent of jail inmates, but only 6 percent of the local adult population.

So these would tend to imply high rates for illegal immigrants. We had several counties, four, actually, where we were able to look at – get information on the foreign born. There wasn’t a distinction made between legal and illegal, but there was the foreign born. And there two of the four counties it appears the foreign born do represent a disproportionate share of those in the jail based on 287(g) or a related effort to it. But in the other two counties it wasn’t clear.

Now, there is a lot more information in my report, but I do think that what is new or what is maybe most interesting in my report or in our report, I should say, is this look at this new 287(g) data, the Secure Communities estimate and the Fentress report, which we were able to get access to for the first time.

Now, there is a lot of other information. We looked, for example, at the federal prison system with some interesting results there. There is also the SCAAP, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, that provides aid to states for illegal aliens and that produces some interesting data. But some of that data, I should point out, is seemingly in conflict with some of the 287(g) data.

That SCAAP data, by the way, does show high illegal alien incarceration in, say, a state like New York. But in other states it doesn’t imply that. But there seems to be a lot of problem with SCAAP data so the facts should be interpreted with caution as well.

I would say that, in conclusion, this report first demonstrates the difficulty in trying to come to a clear conclusion about immigrant criminality. New government data and estimates do indicate immigrants seem to have a high rate of incarceration. But there is also important research showing that this is not the case. And, as I indicated, I think those cross-city comparisons can sometimes be some of the best evidence there.

As I said at the outset, some people seem to think immigrants have high rates of crime while others are equally as sure that it’s low. But, in our view, anyone who asserts that the issue is settled and that they know the answer to this question is simply unaware of all of the new information. Thank you.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you, Steve. Jessica?

JESSICA VAUGHAN: Good morning. And, as Mark has mentioned, what I’d like to do today is to bring out some of the highlights of the study that I worked on with a co-author, Jim Edwards, who is here today also, on the 287(g) program. I want to just talk about some of our findings. I’m going to go through the different types of 287(g) programs, what some of the opposition to the program, some of the criticisms of it have been and where the program seems to be going and also where we think it should be going.

And, just to follow up on what my colleague Steve has said, while we’re not sure about whether immigrant crime rates are high or low, one thing that we did find in our study of the incarcerated alien population is that immigrant crime certainly is not trivial or insignificant, especially in certain communities around the country.

And what we’ve found is that it’s always important to place numbers in context, if you’re looking at something like an overall immigrant crime rate. But for a local law enforcement agency or for people living in a community, those numbers are important regardless of their demographic context. For example, we found that the Harris County jail system, which includes Houston, Texas, they 287(g) program is identifying at least 1,000 removable aliens every month that have been arrested for other crimes who are removable aliens.

And the same has been true in Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County and even in some communities that you might not expect like Davidson County, Tennessee, and some places in North Carolina and Georgia where the absolute numbers are extremely meaningful for a local law enforcement agency because they do have an impact on crime rates in the community and on the overall quality of life in a community – and, most importantly, on the people who live in these communities, because there are people who are the victims of these crimes.

So the 287(g) program is one response that was created by Congress to help overcome the basic fact that the immigration agency, immigration law enforcement agency – then INS, now ICE – simply cannot do the job all by itself of identifying removable aliens who are committing crimes all across the country.

The reality is that ICE is concentrated in major cities around the country, but immigration is not confined to major cities around the country. So this is one program that has been particularly effective in helping local communities deal with the problems of crime associated with illegal immigration.

It’s basically a do-it-yourself immigration law enforcement program where local officers receive training and authority to investigate and charge illegal aliens or removable aliens that they encounter over the regular course of performing their public safety duties. And the purpose is to remove people who are a danger to the community in one way or another or are – have an effect on the well-being of that community.

It was always intended to be used mainly to remove aliens who had committed more serious offenses, but it was never intended to be limited to that. The whole point of it is to give local agencies the tools to address problems that they identify in their old community. And it’s been very successful both in terms of results in identifying removable aliens and also it’s very cost-effective, as it turns out, as well. And we have a discussion of that in the report.

Right now there are 73 agencies who have either already completed agreements or are about to; more than a thousand officers trained nation-wide, both state agencies, local, county, all kinds of different options for it. Since the program’s inception, more than 140,000 removable aliens who committed other crimes have been identified. It represents about a fifth of the criminal aliens that ICE is able to identify in a year.

So that is an enormous force multiplier for ICE as an agency and it’s very helpful to these communities that have stepped up to participate in this. There are three main models that we identified. The first is a correctional model. That’s what most of the 287(g) programs today are – and the ones producing the most arrests, I should say. Most of them are not just correctional. And that’s a natural place for an agency to do this.

Typically what happens is the jails or prisons that participate in this screen all of their inmates at the time of booking to determine whether they were born in the United States or not and then go on further to determine what their immigration status is and if they are potentially subject to immigration charges. It’s the easiest type of 287(g) program to implement and it produces 90 percent of the arrests that take place under the program. It’s what L.A. County, Orange County, San Bernardino, all the big programs, are doing correctional models.

The impact is huge in these places. And it’s very hard to argue that there is not going to be a positive impact on public safety when you are removing – whether it’s a thousand from the big jurisdictions or 500 from some of the smaller ones – removable aliens every month. It has an effect on the level of crime in the community; it helps lower criminal justice costs and it prevents future crimes from happening because offenders are sent home rather than released back into the community.

In Davidson County, which is one of the jurisdictions that has studied the results of its program very closely, they found that after using 287(g), 46-percent fewer illegal aliens were being arrested after doing this for about a year and a decrease of about 30 percent in the number of foreign-born folks who were arrested in Davidson County as a result of identifying immigration offenders in the criminal justice system and sending them home.

Even in smaller jurisdictions have been able to implement it as well. We look at Whitfield County in Georgia and they have actually been able to quantify the cost savings as a result of having done this. The program – implementing the program didn’t cost them anything; they are doing it with existing staff, but they went through and looked at their inmate population and the number of recidivists and found that, you know, some of the people that they were able to get removed had been offending dozens of times even in a year and actually calculated that removing one of these recidivists taking just a few hours of work from one of the trained officers’ time was able to save county taxpayers $20,000 over that offender’s lifetime in just correctional costs – and, you know, for just a couple of hours’ work on their part and sparing future victims of crime as well which, of course, you obviously can’t quantify.

The second model for 287(g) that I think is surprisingly underutilized, but very important and has great potential to contribute to immigration law enforcement is the highway patrol model. And in the study we look at Colorado in particular, although it is also being used in Missouri and Georgia and Arizona and Alabama. Colorado is crisscrossed with major highways, interstate highways that are used by alien-smuggling organizations to take people from the southwest border area to their final destination in places like Chicago or meatpacking plants in the Midwest or any number of other destinations.

Colorado had a very serious problem with traffic accidents on the highways – lots of fatalities – because the smuggling organizations are packing as many people as they can get into vans; often the vehicles themselves are unsafe; the smugglers have no regard for the safety of either the passengers or other people who happen to be on the highway at the same time. And a state legislator was on a ride-along with a state trooper in Colorado and witnessed one of what happened to be four accidents that week with fatalities, all of them involving alien-smuggling loads.

And so the legislature decided to create a special immigration enforcement unit on the state highway patrol that would receive the 287(g) training and authority and focus their efforts simply on enforcing traffic laws on the highways and then having the ability to deal with the alien smuggling that they were encountering on those highways without having to wait for ICE to do it for them.

And they’re doing routine traffic work. They’re pulling vehicles over for failure to signal or no registration or unsafe vehicle or whatever – sometimes accidents. And when they encounter alien smuggling or other individuals who happen to have criminal histories, then they’re able to deal with those. And the Colorado Patrol Immigration Enforcement Unit has arrested over 800 people at this point for immigration violations that they encountered, simply by doing traffic enforcement on the highways.

And they decide where they’re going to focus their efforts based on what they know about smuggling organizations and risk-assessment intelligence they get and so on and their own experience. They’ve also investigated dozens of alien smuggling rings and made an effort to, actually, dismantle those organizations. Prosecutions that the U.S. Attorney’s Office simply didn’t have time to do itself. And the result has been that – they told me a few weeks ago when I met with them in Denver – that since they implemented their 287(g) agreement there have been no alien smuggling-related fatalities on Colorado highways since then.

So knock on wood. It’s very difficult to say the cause of that – but I think it would be hard to argue that the program hasn’t had an effect on highway safety in Colorado. And also, assisting with the general immigration law enforcement mission of trying to dismantle the smuggling organizations which ICE, frankly, has not devoted enough attention to since its inception.

The third type of agreement out there is what ICE calls a taskforce program. I prefer to call it an investigative program. Unfortunately, as we know, not all criminals happen to be in jail at any point in time and so are not necessarily going to be identified through a 287(g) program in a jail.

And so about 24 of the jurisdictions who are using 287(g) are using it in criminal investigations and to support the routine police and law enforcement work that goes on their jurisdiction. These agencies have identified specific types of crime problems they have in their area that may be unique to their area but may not be a priority for people sitting in the Department of Homeland Security front office – and so are not going to be addressed by ICE.

And this program gives these jurisdictions the opportunity to address them on their own. An example is the 287(g) is used by drug and gang taskforces in Northern Virginia. I think the proliferation of criminal street gangs with large numbers of illegal aliens is pretty well-known. I think you have a copy of another study that I did on this problem and also mentions how they have used 287(g) to address it and reduce gang crime and crime overall as a result.

In Florida and South Carolina, they’re using it to address problems with identity theft and illegal employment. In North Carolina, they have a huge problem with drunk driving and illegal aliens driving while intoxicated, unlicensed, et cetera. The way it’s often used – not in every case – but in many cases what – for example, Prince William and Collier County and Frederick County – what the local police force or sheriff’s office does is they set up, often, a criminal alien unit within their force or their office with specially trained officers who can then support all of the other units on the force, whether it’s the domestic violence unit, traffic, detectives doing drug and gang cases and use the immigration law tools in the furtherance of those investigations or in tracking down fugitives or whatever.

So it gives them a lot more flexibility. And there are some examples of these types of programs in the study and what kind – how exactly they’re doing it. The value is that the local agencies can decide for themselves what works for them and how it’s going to be implemented and get support from ICE in the meantime. And what I hear from all of these agencies is having a 287(g) program has done wonders for their relationship with ICE because they understand the process better, they can work together more effectively and it benefits both agencies.

They’re able to identify suspects who would otherwise have eluded them or not been subject to arrest. And so it’s just a very helpful cooperative relationship. The biggest part of it, for them, is having access to the immigration databases so that they can identify people who, maybe have used multiple aliases or otherwise – just they wouldn’t have figured out who these people were and what they’ve been responsible for or what they’re doing now that’s harmful to the community.

These investigative programs have really been mischaracterized by people who are opposed to 287(g) and been, frankly, vilified and mis-described. They are described as allowing local agencies to conduct street sweeps or go around arresting people who look like they might be illegal aliens and so on. I haven’t found that. The results from these programs, the data that they’ve released simply do not validate those accusations.

If you look at Collier County’s program, for example, they have – and the other criticism is that these programs are not arresting enough quote, unquote, “serious criminals.” That’s a point that’s often made as a problem with these investigative programs. But the results show that that’s completely false. Collier County, something like half of the arrests that they’ve made in their investigative program were felonies. They calculated that of the hundreds of people that they’ve arrested, the average number of arrests per person is 11 a piece.

So I mean, these are – they’re simply not going around arresting people for lacking a fishing license or something like that. Even in Maricopa County, where they had their investigative program withdrawn by Department of Homeland Security for, allegedly, not arresting enough serious criminals – 40 percent of their arrests were level-one and level-two offenders. Those are the two highest priorities for ICE. These numbers are higher than ICE’s own investigative programs and some of the other programs that ICE is promoting right now like Secure Communities.

So it’s hard to see why these kinds of programs have been singled out. It just doesn’t make any sense. There’s no evidence that they are being misused in the way that they have been accused.

The other common objection you hear from the organized opposition and open borders groups who oppose immigration law enforcement in general is that by allowing local law enforcement agencies to use immigration law enforcement tools and to have immigration law enforcement authority is that this will somehow damage their relationship with the immigrant community and cause immigrants to stop reporting crimes and to be fearful of authorities.

Again, this is a complaint that you hear very frequently. The problem we found through looking at these programs and talking with the agencies and investigating all the empirical information that’s out there – which there is not very much – to be completely unsubstantiated and could not find it at all. In fact, those agencies that have studied this problem to try to see if there were any quote, unquote, “chilling effect” that was occurring as a result of their participation in 287(g) did not found that. They did not find that calls for service from immigrant neighborhoods decreased in any way.

Collier County and Prince William County both looked into this in some detail and found that it was completely nonexistent. And, unfortunately, this is a myth that’s still out there but I think one that does a great disservice to the immigrant communities who are the victims of some of these groups and individuals who are committing crimes. But it isn’t the case whatsoever.

Where is the program going? Well, certain key Democrats in Congress have tried to eliminate both the investigative and the patrol agreements and to confine 287(g) to a correctional setting because they feel that that’s safer and that DHS can have more control over it. DHS ended up not going that route. They ended up preserving the program and coming out with what they called a standardized memorandum of agreement for all of the jurisdictions – although, in fact, they are not standardized.

So they didn’t completely succeed in really changing the nature of the program. What they did succeed in doing was irritating a lot of their local partners who had to go through the exercise of re-negotiating these agreements, which, end up to be pretty much the same agreement that they had before.

What I’m hearing from the agencies who participate is that it’s business as usual in the 287(g) program. And they feel that the new memorandum is not going to affect their program. The exception to that, of course, would be Maricopa County which had their investigative program yanked – possibly because the department felt like they, maybe, had to deliver somebody’s head to the groups who’ve been complaining about this program.

But it hasn’t stopped the sheriff there from trying to address immigrant crime. I mean, he’s got state and local laws at his disposal as well. But unfortunately, what this has done is empowered some of the local advocacy groups who are opposed to 287(g) to bringing legal challenges to some of these programs. And the most recent example that we’ve seen around here is in Frederick County where a group has brought a lawsuit against the sheriff alleging racial profiling. So they’re definitely going to be – feel empowered by this attention that’s been focused. But again, the criticisms are not based on any actual experience. They’re purely allegations that haven’t been substantiated.

Biggest problem with 287(g) right now is adequate funding so that it can be expanded to more agencies and so that it can be used in more different contexts. I would like to see many more police forces create criminal alien units so that they have people on the force who can specialize in alien crime and how to work with ICE and support all of the units on their force who encounter foreign nationals in the course of their business.

And I also just, finally, want to emphasize that the 287(g) program is really just one tool that’s available to state and local law enforcement agencies. There’s lots of other ways that they can work with ICE and they can and should be working cooperatively with ICE to address the public safety problems that are related to illegal immigration. So thank you.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you, Jessica. Gary?

GARY MCLHINNEY: Good morning. I want to speak this morning and come from two perspectives based on my experience, not only as a chief for a major department in the state of Maryland, but as a rank and file police officer for 28 odd years. From a chief’s perspective, obviously, and a sheriff’s as well, it’s obviously a political issue. Politics drives everything that a chief of police does because, quite frankly, they’re appointed by politicians. They serve at the pleasure of politicians. I was a chief for four years – new governor, new chief. That’s the world we live in when you’re in law enforcement in higher ranks.

From a sheriff’s perspective, they’re driven by the needs and wants of their constituents. They’re elected officials. They’re no different than council-people or anybody else in the town that might happen to get elected. So they’re driven by the needs and wants of their constituents. Therein lies the problem and the disconnect, in this situation, between rank and file police officers who simply want to do a better job every day in responding to the concerns of their constituents, which is crime. That’s what rank and file officers do every day. They simply go on the street and look for ways to solve crimes and solve the problems in their communities.

That’s why you see two different approaches to 287(g). The Fraternal Order of Police, which is a rank and file police organization, supports to 287(g) and the expansion of it. The IACP, which is a group of chiefs – and I belong to both organizations, which causes me a lot of headaches sometimes but – they don’t because they don’t want to have to fight this battle, in my view, with their elected officials and the people that appoint them. They simply want to put the blinders on and leave it up to the rank and file.

Chiefs had this battle. We fought this battle. We lost it in the late ’90s, early 2000s when police officers across this country were accused of racial profiling. We lost that battle. Chiefs lost their jobs. The superintendent of New Jersey State Police lost his job over racial profiling. It’s illegal. It’s illegal in the state of Maryland. I will investigate my officers if they are found to have committed racial profiling. I will terminate them. It’s punishable by jail time in the state of Maryland for police officers to engage in racial profiling.

We used to call it, and I called it, as chief and as a union leader, criminal profiling. I know my community. As a rank and file police officer in Baltimore city for 28 years, I knew my community. I knew the area I worked. The folks from ICE, I needed them for resources. I needed the DEA, I needed the FBI, I needed – it was Customs at the time – I needed those folks for the resources from the federal government. But they needed me in the community because I was there for 28 years. And I was going to be there throughout my career. Folks in the federal government move.

If you’re in a particular community for four or five years, that’s a long time. So I knew the crime problems in my community. And when I say I – police officers. We know the crime problems in the community, how to address them, who’s committing them. We needed the resources of the federal government to accomplish that mission.

It’s no different than any other taskforce that law enforcement might be on. Whether it’s a gun taskforce or a narcotics enforcement taskforce where we work side by side with either DEA, FBI, ATF – the alphabet soup of federal government – it was us, boots on the ground, being local law enforcement out there interacting with the community every day and the federal government as backup, supplying the resources that we need.

For local law enforcement not to be involved in enforcing illegal immigration ties their hands in any crime they want to investigate. It’s a tool. It’s no different than my ability as a law enforcement officer and I’ll give you an example. On Interstate 95, which was my responsibility from the Delaware line to just south of Baltimore, I used to tell my officers, we have a unique opportunity here. We have a toll booth. This is prior to E-ZPass. We had a toll booth. We get to look every person that travels our roadway in the eye. That’s unique for law enforcement. You can’t do that anywhere else.

I had the opportunity, as law enforcement, to spot everybody that comes through. I can read their tag with an automatic tag reader. I can look them in the eye. I can look for indicators on rent-a-cars, out-of-state tags, people driving too fast, too slow – whatever the indicators might be for particular crime and I could base on my experience and stop that vehicle. Give me another tool now. Give me another tool to be able to run them on my PalmPilot – everybody in that vehicle. Keep them no longer than a normal traffic stop would be – because the courts look at that. You can’t keep somebody on the side of the highway for two hours while you’re trying to check out their status.

But if I had access to that database, my officer on the street, within a matter of seconds, can tell whether he has someone that’s in this country illegal. And take his investigation, then, to the next level based on those indicators, based on their experience, their training, their articulable suspicion which is what they need to continue that investigation. That’s an invaluable tool.

And for me not to have it, for me to tell my officers when they graduate from the academy, by the way I just gave you an oath of office that you swore to uphold the laws of this country in this community, in this state, except for certain laws. I don’t have that authority as chief and I don’t expect to take that message to my officers who are out there every day, doing what the community wants them to do. And that’s protecting, being proactive.

It’s no good if I have to look for someone outside this country after they commit a crime. In my mind, it’s too late. We’re in the clean-up phase at that point. Okay? My goal as a law enforcement official is to prevent that crime from happening. And if I can do that – whether it’s on the street corner in Baltimore city or on the interstate highway, I want the tools of a program like 287(g) behind me – particularly the third part, the investigative component. That’s really where law enforcement – that’s our bread and butter. And I think it allows us to do our duty, to serve our constituents and do it in the most effective manner possible.

And I want to go back to – and I want to talk about two incidents that you might be familiar with. First is the tunnel closure in 2006 in Baltimore. That was, unfortunately, my decision to make at 3:00 in the morning – (laughter) – to close that tunnel. But based on the information that I was getting from the FBI in the previous 24 hours, I thought it was important that I make that decision. That’s a local decision. FBI gives me the resources and the – well, not the resources, they give me the information and then say, well, chief, it’s up to you.

Okay, well it’s up to me if I’m going to be doing interviews on CNN and every national press organization for the next 24 hours because I made a decision to close the tunnel on Interstate 95, disrupting traffic up and down the East Coast for three hours because of a threat to our tunnel. That information came to us because of an illegal immigrant that was in custody who was picked up strictly because of that status and supplied that information to the FBI that caused us to do what we did that day, based on an overabundance of caution, that there was an immediate threat to our tunnel.

Now, that information, down the road, was not supported. There was no criminal investigation. We end up arresting a lot of people but we would never have gotten that information and that threat assessment on our tunnel if not for that individual being picked up solely on an immigration violation. And that’s why they were in custody.

The other incident I want to talk about is the Madrid bombing. And everybody remembers when the trains were bombed in Madrid. TSA came out within 24 hours – 18 regulations that everyone that was responsible for commuter rail had to abide by. Turns out, Maryland had no one responsible for commuter rail for law enforcement. We left it up to each jurisdiction the rail line came through. So you can imagine coming, starting in Perryville, Maryland, in Cecil County and coming all the way through to D.C., how many jurisdictions had pieces of the rail line that they were supposedly responsible for. So that was left to me. That was given to my agency and we had 24 hours to enact these regulations.

What did I have to go by? The assessment was, there was a threat to East Coast commuter rail system following the Madrid bombing. That’s the intel we’re getting. You now need to go protect that. What am I looking for? I’m looking for Islamic terrorist. That’s the role that I have at 8:00 in the morning because that’s who committed the Madrid bombing. We know what they look like. We know what every foreign terrorist, every foreign Islamic terrorist, looks like. They’re young, Islamic males. Look at the 9/11 hijackers. Look at those who committed the bombings in London and in Madrid – that’s who they are.

So now I have to communicate to my officers who we need to stop and who we need to look at and who we need to be suspicious of until we get a better assessment of this threat, until the federal government comes to us and tells us who.

Now, we start making those stops. I’m now stopping people at BWI rail station, which is a major Amtrak commuter station going into Washington here. I’m now stopping Islamic males. Unbeknownst to me, the – and I’m drawing a blank on this one – the, intel center that’s based at BWI airport – Grumman, Northrop Grumman, has a training session going on where they have intel people from the government in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan. They’re staying in hotels in the Baltimore and D.C. area and taking commuter rail into BWI airport rail station. Just my luck.

So we’re stopping them. I have no way of verifying – there aren’t – some of them are under programs that I don’t have access to. I’ll make up a name – Blue Thunder. Who you here with? I’m with project Blue Thunder at Northrop Grumman; here’s my ID.

I have no way of verifying them. None. We stopped 30 people that morning; the first morning after the Madrid bombing. We couldn’t verify who any of them were. I called State Department – we can’t talk to you about Blue Thunder. They have a top secret clearance! We can’t talk to you about Blue Thunder; let him go. I said, do you want their names? No, let them go.

Locals need that access and we need it immediately. And, literally, with the capabilities we have now, we have the capabilities to have it in the palm of our hand 24/7. And I think that’s the importance of having locals and state cooperate and work closely with ICE and other federal agencies to share that information.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you. Gary? Questions from anybody or comments you guys wanted to make first? Okay. Ma’am, you first.

Q: Hi. I have –

MR. KRIKORIAN: If you could identify yourself, too, please.

Q: My name is Erica Morgan; I’m with the Immigration and Human Rights Law Group in Manassas, Virginia. (Inaudible, background noise) – for the 287(g) program. Is there any oversight by ICE over whether or not these agencies, local and state agencies – are employing discriminatory tactics, like in Prince William County, picking up people based off of racial profiling and things like that?

And my second question is, have there been any studies with the immigrant population themselves, actually people in the immigrant population, whether or not the 287(g) program adversely affects things with immigrants?

MS. VAUGHAN: On your first question, concerning the supervision of local agencies, yes, there is close supervision over these 287(g) units. That’s part of the whole memorandum of agreement between the locals and the Feds; is that, you know, it sets up a process for supervision, and they only work under the supervision of ICE.

Especially in the investigative programs, they – depending on the program and the way it’s set up, sometimes they have to get prior approval from ICE before making an arrest or before questioning somebody. Again, it depends on the type of program, but there most definitely is supervision.

And a significant part of the 287(g) training, just like all law enforcement training, is on how to avoid racial profiling; cultural sensitivities; require consular notification conventions and so on. Most of them do keep good statistics and are very – I mean, opponents of the program have made them so controversial in some situations that they are hypersensitive to these kinds of concerns, and, you know, aware of the implications for abuse of authority. But again, these can be managed.

You know, there really – and there have been no confirmed instances of abuse of authority or racial profiling in any 287(g) program since its inception. There have been allegations, there have been – and very few of those, in fact. Only a couple of agencies have had any complaints whatsoever, much less substantiated complaints.

On the impact on the immigrant community, a lot of the agencies that I’ve talked with feel that their relationship with immigrant communities is actually helped by the 287(g) program because they emphasize so much that victims and witnesses are not targets for immigration law enforcement, and that having immigration law authority actually gives locals access to the protections that are available in immigration law for witnesses and victims, that they actually feel more free to come forward and report crimes that have happened, and, especially, to report people that they know are illegal aliens.

I mean, we see countless examples of this and, you know, both – from the agencies I’ve talked to and in following it in news media reports – for example, there’ve been some situations where people who were smuggled into the country illegally – the smuggling organizations will often hold them hostage and try to target their relatives in the United States to get them to fork over more money; it’s a form of extortion.

These people have felt very comfortable going to their local law enforcement agencies who then immediately kick into gear with ICE, and there have been some pretty significant arrests made as a result of immigrants coming to local officials.

Immigration agents will tell you – and also, the locals who are using immigration law – that most of their tips come from the immigrant community. So that there, you know, this is really a complete myth of people being afraid. It shows up in the surveys that I’ve seen, too, that have been done by some of the academic researchers when they ask people about, do they report crimes or not report crimes and why. So, you know, I think really the opposite is substantiated, rather than – that it helps relationships rather than harms them.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Yes, sir, in the back.

Q: I’m Jeff Hersom from MTA 24; it’s a TV station. Could you please tell me what the main conclusion of this study?

MS. VAUGHAN: Of the 287(g)?

Q: Yeah.

MS. VAUGHAN: That it has been enormously effective both in improving public safety and in reducing criminal justice costs – having this tool available to the local law enforcement agencies.


Q: Yeah, just picking up on Gary’s theme about politicization, I note that the Maricopa County program has been the most successful in the country as measured by number of total arrests. And, just wondering if that maybe is how Sheriff Joe Arpaio then became a lightning rod with that.

And then, the second part of the question is about this – I just want to know if anybody here on the panel knows anything about this guy that murdered the 9-year-old by shooting through the door here in the D.C. area, what his immigration status is?

MS. VAUGHAN: On the last case, no, I haven’t heard about that so I don’t know anything at all about it. In terms of Maricopa County, yes, they have very large numbers of arrests. Part of that is a function of the fact that Maricopa County is kind of ground zero in terms of illegal immigration right now; that’s where a lot of the traffic is; it’s the kidnapping capital of the country now; enormous crime problems there related to illegal immigration.

I did find, though, that when we looked at the number of arrests per officer, it really was not the most efficient or productive in those terms; that there were other jurisdictions that did better. There are lots of officers trained in Maricopa County – far more than any other jurisdiction. And most of the arrests are coming out of the jail program there, not the investigative program.

But the thing that I found most striking was that for all the criticism of Maricopa County – that they were, you know, doing these street sweeps and turning up all these minor offenders – according to data that I got directly from ICE, 40 percent of the people that had been arrested under the investigative program, which is the one that Janet Napolitano yanked, 40 percent of them were, in fact, level 1 and level 2 offenders, who are the serious offenders that are ICE’s highest priority. That’s more than many of the other investigative 287(g) programs, and many of ICE’s own programs, that are allegedly focused on, quote, unquote, serious crime.

So it seems to me very hard to justify why that particular program was removed – where the authority was taken away; why did that program have the plug pulled on it when it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing.

MR. KRIKORIAN: If I could just speculate about the – oh, no, I’m sorry, go ahead.

MR. MCLHINNEY: Well, first of all, yeah, Sherriff Joe does take quite a bit of heat. But getting back to the minor crimes and the thought that minor crimes don’t lead to police investigations to more major crimes – I’ll give you an example: CompStat – everyone’s familiar with the CompStat process and how it came out of New York City and how they were so successful in driving down crime with the program.

I attended one of their CompStat sessions and I saw an example of this in that they had a drive-by shooting problem in a community – I believe it was in Brooklyn. And the captain of the precinct was asked, how are you stopping this drive-by shooting problem? And the drive-by shooting problem in New York City in this community was on bicycles because you can’t get away in a car; I mean, you’re just not going to be able to move fast enough – (laughter) – to get away.

So their perpetrators were on bicycles and the captain said, well, I’m putting police officers on bicycles and we’re riding in the community and we’re going to track them down. And he said, wait a minute. You’ve got 30- and 40-year-old cops on bikes – (laughter) – trying to catch 16-, 17-, 18-year-old kids on bikes. How many have you got? None, yet, but we’re working on it!

So he was transferred to Manhattan during that meeting, and they brought a new captain in and his response was, it’s against the law to ride your bikes on the sidewalk or against traffic. Everybody that’s riding their bikes on sidewalks and against traffic is going to be stopped. That’s our intell base. We get the color of their bike; we get what they’re wearing; we get who they are; we get their names and IDs and 10 minutes later, when they go around the corner and shoot somebody, we’ll know who they are.

And that’s, you know, we’ve had a bite of that in Baltimore City where we saw a spike in arrests – 100,000 arrests in Baltimore City – it’s got a population of 625,000 people, okay. In 2005 to 2006, they arrested over 100,000 people in Baltimore City. Crime went down. It went down significantly; whether it was less victims on the street, whether it was less perpetrators on the street. Now, Baltimore City is arresting 60 to 70,000 people and crime is still going down.

MR. KRIKORIAN: And just the last point about Sherriff Joe, I mean, I think Jessica’s point about the administration needed to throw some meat to the advocacy groups and, you know, Arpaio is a colorful personality and he was sort of the obvious person – the obvious target – and so I think that’s really pretty much the full explanation. As Jessica pointed out, there’s no difference in the results of the actual function of the program. It really was just a political decision, it seems to me.

Any other questions? Yes, in the back.

Q: My name is Erin Anderson . I have a question for Gary. I’m pretty sure he mentioned something about the highway 95. And as y’all know, highway 95 is a major conduit for the drug trade coming up from Atlanta north. So I’m kind of curious about do you know anything about – it’s within the past year or six months, a large semi-truck was detained because it was the largest load of amphetamines or something hidden in a cargo of fruit from Mexico. And the driver was an illegal alien and a member of a cartel, okay. Can you talk anything about that case, how that was like – that vehicle was identified and detained?

And also, I’m curious about – because you were talking about Baltimore City, how the crime rate is going down. I remember a number of years ago, two or 3 years ago, about a horrific murder of two, three children who were practically beheaded.


Q: It, again, was an illegal alien family. The perpetrators were illegal aliens. We never really found out why that happened. And the hints or illusions were it was a drug deal gone wrong or something.

MR. MCLHINNEY: The motive in that case – I’m familiar with that case – the motive in that case is unknown. The first trial resulted in convictions; that trial was overturned because of incompetent counsel and is going back for another trial very shortly, for those individuals.

The detectives working the case believe it was in retaliation for a drug debt. You are correct. Illegal immigrants, illegal aliens, as suspects; two brothers, I believe it was. And the victims, the three young children, were family members of theirs.

Q: Well, because, we see this trend is common everyday procedure down in mainland Mexico, so, I mean, that must indicate that cartel activity has reached into our communities in Baltimore, with that being one example.

MR. MCLHINNEY: Well, it has. And if you know Interstate 95, it passes through very different communities. So what I need my officers to realize is when they’re on the south side of the tunnel – if you’re familiar with the area, the south side, Catonsville area going up into the tunnel, that area leads to predominantly African-American neighborhoods – the exits off of that tunnel.

So if we’re doing drug interdiction work, and we’re looking at folks, and we have intell that somebody might be bringing packages up to that particular community on particular days, particular times, that’s who we’re looking for.

If I have that same intel north of the tunnel, which runs through Southeast Baltimore, which is a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in that particular area, then I’m looking for Hispanic males in that area.

That’s intelligent policing on my part. I’m not wasting resources. And that’s what – when I talked about knowing your community, my officers need to be aware of that or else they’re wasting my time, they’re wasting their time and they’re wasting the community’s money, quite frankly.

In spending time – we all talk about it at TSA. I was responsible for the airport, BWI airport, post-9/11. So we got the complaints when the 82-year-old woman and the 4-year-old girl would get stopped and searched as they got on the planes. TSA didn’t get the complaints. No one at TSA at an airport has a gun. Okay, they need the law enforcement; that’s – they’re responsible. We took the complaints; we had to handle the disorderly people; the people that were intoxicated from sitting in the bars all day because flights were delayed and then wanted to, you know, cause problems getting on planes. We handled those complaints.

So I understand how the federal government can be in a position of wasting resources and wasting time and effort of law enforcement. And we said we weren’t going to do it. And, you know, any good chief or any good leader of a law enforcement agency is going to base his crime strategy on the information they have available to them.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Any other questions? Yes, sir, yeah.

Q: Jim McDonald. Is there any chance – this is very speculative – but is there any chance that things like the Mariel boatlift where the Cubans got rid of – you know, suppose they emptied their prisons and sent them all to the U.S. And the Soviet Union has done similar things and Russia and I think Vietnam, also. Have those in any way maybe skewed the numbers unfairly, so to speak? Anything to indicate that?

MR. CAMAROTA: Hmm. That’s interesting. You know, it’s probably not enough to matter on these incarceration rates and so forth, so I would guess it wouldn’t – now, remember that legal immigrants to the United, for the most part, are supposed to – be verified that they haven’t committed a crime in their home country.

So if you only admit adults who haven’t committed a crime, that should make the crime rate of legal immigrants quite low because people typically have a pattern, right; you know, people don’t just commit one crime.

So the problem, of course, with that is that in many less-developed countries, records are incomplete and official corruption is problematic. So are we able to really weed out prior criminal activity is an open question. But you would guess that that process would make legal immigrants, on average, less likely to commit crime because you’re supposed to be weeding out people who have.

Yes, ma’am?

Q: This question is for Steve and Jessica. Was there any breakdown of the crimes in your studies basically seeing – for people who are incarcerated, are they incarcerated for more serious crimes like murder, rape, kidnapping, things like that, or were they incarcerated for less serious crimes like shoplifting, DUI, things like that, in jail less than a year?

MR. CAMAROTA: In some places, in some of the stuff we looked at, there was; but not in others. In the Fentress study, they just looked at jails and prisons – who was there. In that analysis done by Homeland Security that found that 20 percent of the jail and prison population was foreign-born, they did find it was 20 percent for prisons.

Now, as you probably know, of course you know that the prison population is the more serious population. You don’t go to prison unless you’ve done something typically where you’ve been convicted and you’re there for more than a year. If your sentence is less than a year, you typically – not everywhere, not every time – stay in the jail. So they said 20 percent for the prisons; I mean, that’s what the table shows. So if that gives us any hint, it doesn’t imply that the incarceration is any less severe or they’re committing less severe crimes.

In Maricopa County, the data they had was for felonies. So in that case, they had something very specific. Prince William County – just one more thing is they did break it up by more serious and less serious crime. And in that case, it looked like the illegal aliens were committing more of the less serious crime than the more serious crime. So we have a little bit of that, but I don’t know that we could answer that question with a lot of definite – Jessica has a remark.

MS. VAUGHAN: I do; just a couple things. One thing that’s important to remember is that when you look at crime statistics overall across the nation, most people who are in the criminal justice system are there for a quote, unquote, minor crime – by definition – you know, by Homeland Security’s definition.

However, many of them are recidivists, and sometimes people who are picked up for quote, unquote, minor crimes actually do have a serious criminal history. So the kinds of broken-windows policing that Gary described under CompStat, I think it was called, are useful for that very reason; is that by enforcing all laws, you are able to sometimes identify people are a significant threat to public safety and can remove them from the streets before they do another major crime or another long series of minor crimes.

And that’s why I think it’s important to recognize that one of the big weaknesses in ICE’s new approach is that they’ve decided that they are not necessarily going to hold people in custody if their offense is a quote, unquote minor one, which – it seems to me, you know, the possibility is that this decision is going to come back to haunt them because it’s impossible for them to predict which of those DWI offenders or petty larceny offenders is then going to become a much more serious problem once they’re released. And now, you know, there’s a record that ICE had its opportunity to hold someone and didn’t.

That was one of the things that was found by the GAO report; is that, you know, only about half of the people identified by the locals as removable aliens were actually being held by ICE for removal. And that’s something that some of the local 287(g) agencies are a little bit concerned about now – that if ICE is not backing up this program with bed space and following through with actual removal of these people, there’s still a public safety problem in these communities.

MR. KRIKORIAN: And is a political problem, obviously, one would assume because then someone that ICE had required the locals to let go, then goes and murders somebody and the local authorities say, look, we had him; the Feds refused to take him; call your congressman. I mean, it’s going to happen and you might as well write the news stories now because this is essentially a guaranteed outcome, it seems to me, of the decision.

Just take one more question if anyone has one, and then we’ll wrap up. Okay, you get another question.

Q: Is there a breakdown of people who are recidivists based on, like – are you a recidivist, like, for, number of DUIs or driving without a license; or are you a recidivist in that you have a DUI and then go to murder, rape, things like that. Is there a breakdown of those numbers?

MS. VAUGHAN: It depends on the agency. We’ve got lots of different collections of data, and some of them break it down, some of them don’t; some of them count all charges, some count only the most serious charge.

I’m actually in the process of collecting more data from the jurisdictions that have investigative programs; to look at this a little bit further. And it just depends on the agency. So we have some of it in the report, and you can contact the specific agencies, too.

Q: How did local agencies define who was removable because, I mean, if you study immigration, like I am an immigration lawyer, you can be removable for a number of things that are petty crimes and removable for larger things, as well. So how do they define what person is removable?

MS. VAUGHAN: Well, they follow federal law just like an immigration officer would. They go through four weeks of training. The local agencies don’t actually remove people; they charge them with immigration violations. And it’s up to ICE to take it from there to either – you know, maybe the person goes before an immigration judge for a removal hearing; you know, it’s up to the judge at that point. Sometimes, ICE reinstates a prior order of removal or makes a decision – you know, some other kind of decision on how that person will be disposed of. But they’re just bringing charges; they’re not actually removing people.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you. The room is going to turn into a pumpkin shortly, so if people have questions, Jessica and Steve and Gary, I think, are here to be accosted afterwards, if you’d like. Again, all of our research, including these two new studies, are at our Web site at, and the transcript and video of this event will be online next week, as well. Thanks for coming and hope to see you at our next event.