CHC Chair & PA Rep. Boyle Lead Letter Opposing ICE's Senseless Targeting of Communities
May 11, 2018
Washington, D.C. –Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chair Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) and U.S. Representative Brendan Boyle (PA-13) led a letter signed by 11 Members of Congress to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Thomas D. Homan expressing serious concerns about reports that show the Philadelphia Field ICE Office arrests more immigrants lacking criminal convictions than any other ICE regional office.
“Mass arrests of immigrants with deep ties to our communities waste taxpayer resources and only serves to instill fear among families and communities,” the Members wrote to Acting Director Homan.
They continued: “The use of extremely limited resources to target immigrant families indiscriminately does not advance public safety goals, and only destabilizes our communities. We therefore call on DHS to bring the Philadelphia Field Office in line with other regional offices.”
Across the nation families are being separated as a result of ICE’s indiscriminate practice. CNN’s Tal Kopan, wrote a piece assessing ICE’s renewed focus on “low hanging fruit” – including targeting many immigrants with no criminal records, whose arrests have surged 171% in 2017 compared to 2016.
In addition to Reps. Boyle and Lujan Grisham the following Members signed the letter: Reps. J. Luis Correa, Ruben Kihuen, Raul M. Grijalva, Linda T. Sanchez, Juan Vargas, Darren Soto, Grace F. Napolitano, Nanette Diaz Barragan, Adriano Espaillat, Albio Sires, Robert Brady.
The official letter can be found here.
TEXT OF LETTER
Thomas D. Homan
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
500 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20536
Dear Acting Director Homan:
We write to express serious concern with recent reports by ProPublica and The Philadelphia Inquirer that show that the Philadelphia Field Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests more immigrants lacking criminal convictions than any other ICE regional office. In 2017, 64 percent of those arrested by the Philadelphia Field Office had no criminal convictions compared to the national average of 38 percent. This 26 percent spike in the region is especially striking given that Pennsylvania’s undocumented population ranks16th in the nation.
Mass arrests of immigrants with deep ties to our communities waste taxpayer resources and only serves to instill fear among families and communities. Experts agree. Walter A. Durling, a veteran immigration judge at York Immigration Court who retired in December, questions the wisdom and cost-effectiveness of an indiscriminate approach to immigration enforcement. Moreover, a senseless crackdown like this only serves to further overwhelm our immigration courts, which are already struggling to fairly adjudicate their whopping caseloads. There are 11,643 pending cases in Pennsylvania’s immigration courts as of March 1, 2017 – a 62 percent increase from Fiscal Year 2016.
The use of extremely limited resources to target immigrant families indiscriminately does not advance public safety goals, and only destabilizes our communities. We, therefore, call on DHS to bring the Philadelphia Field Office in line with other regional offices.
We look forward to your timely response to this important matter.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.