New Data Show Immigrant Gang Arrests

Violent immigrant and transnational gangs such as MS-13, the Sureños, and 18th Street continue to present a significant public safety threat in many parts of the United States, according to arrest records released by ICE to the Center for Immigration Studies.

In 2013 (the most recent year available), ICE arrested significant numbers of gang members in California, Texas, Chicago, and the New York City and Washington, DC, metropolitan areas. Large concentrations also were arrested by ICE agents in Atlanta, Charlotte, and south Florida.

Topics: Criminal Aliens

Correction: Number of Work Permits Was Actually 7.4 Million

According to government statistics obtained from USCIS through a FOIA request, the total number of work permits issued by USCIS from 2009 to 2014 is 7.4 million. Due to a spreadsheet error, my original report on the encrypted data received from USCIS incorrectly stated that the total number of work permits issued in these years was 5.5 million. We regret the error.

The Human Cost of "Prosecutorial Discretion"

An illegal alien now under arrest for murdering a 21-year-old convenience store clerk in Mesa, Ariz., on January 22, 2015, was previously in ICE custody in 2013 after a drug- and gang-related felony burglary conviction, but was released on bond after just a few days. This incident tragically illustrates the human cost of the Obama administration's "prosecutorial discretion" policies, otherwise known as "catch and release".

ICE says in a statement that it offered the man, Apolinar Altamirano, release on bond pending a deportation hearing (that still has not taken place two years later), because he had "only" the one felony burglary conviction. It seems that not even all felons are considered to be eligible for enforcement, despite ICE's insistence that it is focused like a laser on removing aliens with criminal convictions, with even "non-violent" felons supposedly ranked as a high priority for deportation, and the president's insistence that the focus is on "Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who's working hard to provide for her kids." (Emphasis added.) As my colleague Jon Feere has said, it appears that bloodshed is a prerequisite for immigration enforcement these days.