Federal immigration-law enforcers nearly doubled the number of arrests of illegal aliens in New Jersey during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, today’s Star-Ledger reports.
A total of 2,079 illegal aliens were taken into custody by four teams of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials assigned to the state, the Ledger reports.
Those swept up were wanted on warrants or deportation orders, or because they happened to be in places that the feds were raiding, the Ledger reports.
In fiscal 2006, 1,094 people were arrested in the state, the Ledger says. Of the 2,079 arrested last year, officials reported that 270 had criminal histories and 1,220 have already been deported.
From the article:
The increase reflected a nationwide trend that has seen deportations skyrocket. Nationwide, 30,408 people were arrested in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, up from 15,462 the previous year.
It is the first time in the controversial five-year effort to cut down on the number of fugitive aliens living in the country that the number has decreased, ICE officials said.
The effort has been widely criticized by immigrant rights groups for breaking up families, often deporting parents and spouses of U.S. citizens and removing the family member earning wages.
“These raids terrorize entire communities and do nothing to remedy the failure by the federal government to provide a comprehensive immigration policy,” said Charles “Shai” Goldstein, executive director of the New Jersey Immigration Policy Network. “The raids are exercises in futility and counterproductive.”
Scott Weber, Newark field office director of ICE detention and removal operations, said fugitives targeted in the raids had already had their day in court, but chose to ignore a judge’s orders.
“As a nation we cannot allow people to defy the lawful orders of a judge,” he said in a press release.
Red Bank was the site of several sweeps last year.