If we want to deport criminals, we’re doing it wrong
Earlier in April, Maryland Governor (and 2016 Presidential hopeful) Martin O’Malley announced that the Baltimore City Detention Center won’t automatically hold immigrants for deportation. Instead, only the people deemed to pose a real threat to public safety will be held.
Under a federal policy called Secure Communities, local police officers share a fingerprint database with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This means that any undocumented immigrant who gets stopped for a minor infraction could immediately get flagged and held for deportation.
But most of these people haven’t committed a serious crime. A recent study found that more the 40% of undocumented immigrants deported from Maryland have no existing criminal record. Meanwhile, families are torn apart and undocumented immigrants are more hesitant to report serious crimes to the police.
Given the overwhelming evidence that the current immigration policy doesn’t actually target dangerous criminals, enacting reforms makes sense. Now if someone could just convince Congress…