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Report: Immigration Officers Largely Ignoring 'Priority Enforcement' Reforms

New data suggest a federal program meant to prioritize the deportation of immigrants who have been charged with serious crimes has had only modest impacts on the number of people being detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

What’s known as the Priority Enforcement Program was launched by the department of Homeland Security in 2014.

According to data collected by TRAC, a federal records database at Syracuse University, about 57 percent of ICE issued detainment requests were for immigrants who had been convicted of a crime the year before the program was implemented. In 2015, that fell to just 49 percent.

"The bottom line is that the promise has not been fulfilled, despite the fact that ICE data indicate that local law enforcement agencies are cooperating," said Sue Long, TRAC's co-director.

Looking deeper, the report shows, of those immigrants convicted of a crime, only a quarter had a “serious” offense on their record.  

Carrie Jung Senior Field Correspondent, Education Desk Carrie Jung began her public radio career in Albuquerque, N.M., where she fell in love with the diverse cultural scene and unique political environment of the Southwest. Jung has been heard on KJZZ since 2013 when she served as a regular contributor to the Fronteras Desk from KUNM Albuquerque. She covered several major stories there including New Mexico's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage and Albuquerque's failed voter initiative to ban late-term abortions. Jung has also contributed stories about environmental and Native American issues to NPR's Morning Edition, PRI's The World, Al Jazeera America, WNYC's The Takeaway, and National Native News. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in marketing, both from Clemson University. When Jung isn't producing content for KJZZ she can usually be found buried beneath mounds of fabric and quilting supplies. She recently co-authored a book, "Sweet And Simple Sewing," with her mother and sister, who are fabric designers.