Immigration busts: In fiscal 2010, ICE took 6,617 people from Denver area, 4,447 criminals

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is focusing on busting criminal aliens -- like the 78 people recently rounded up statewide. And there's more where they came from. ICE has just released statistics for fiscal 2010, which ended September 30. The arrestee total for the Denver area of responsibility, which includes Wyoming? 6,617 people, 4,447 of them convicted criminals.

These numbers are modest when compared to the 392,000 undocumented individuals ICE removed country-wide. Of that sum, around 195,000 were convicted criminals -- meaning the percentage of cons grabbed in Colorado was considerably above the national average.

As for the spin, the folks at ICE seem interested in coming across like hard-asses, in order to placate advocates for harsher immigration policies, while emphasizing a thoughtful approach as a way of muting criticism from those who support policies providing a path to citizenship, and not jmore roundups and bigger fences. To see if you think they manage to pull off this balancing act, check out the ICE release about the national stats below:


WASHINGTON -- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton today announced record-breaking immigration enforcement statistics achieved under the Obama administration -- including unprecedented numbers of convicted criminal alien removals and overall alien removals in fiscal year 2010.

Secretary Napolitano's announcements reflect this administration's continued focus on smart and effective immigration enforcement over the past 20 months -- prioritizing the identification and removal of criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety.

"This administration has focused on enforcing our immigration laws in a smart, effective manner that prioritizes public safety and national security and holds employers accountable who knowingly and repeatedly break the law," said Secretary Napolitano. "Our approach has yielded historic results, removing more convicted criminal aliens than ever before and issuing more financial sanctions on employers who knowingly and repeatedly violate immigration law than during the entire previous administration."

"ICE is committed to tough law enforcement that protects the safety and security of the American people," said ICE Director John Morton. "These record-setting numbers are the result of strong, sensible enforcement programs and priorities, and the dedication of thousands of ICE agents and officers who work tirelessly every day to keep our communities safe."

Secretary Napolitano and Director Morton were joined by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Harris County, Texas, Sheriff Adrian Garcia, and Fairfax County, Va., Sheriff Stan Barry at today's announcement.

In fiscal year 2010, ICE set a record for overall removals of illegal aliens, with more than 392,000 removals nationwide. Half of those removed -- more than 195,000 -- were convicted criminals. The fiscal year 2010 statistics represent increases of more than 23,000 removals overall and 81,000 criminal removals compared to fiscal year 2008 -- a more than 70 percent increase in removal of criminal aliens from the previous administration.

DHS has also expanded the Secure Communities initiative -- which uses biometric information and services to identify and remove criminal aliens in state prisons and local jails -- from 14 jurisdictions in 2008 to more than 660 today, including all jurisdictions along the Southwest border. DHS is on track to expand this program to all law enforcement jurisdictions nationwide by 2013. This year alone, Secure Communities has resulted in the arrest of more than 59,000 convicted criminal aliens, including more than 21,000 convicted of major violent offenses like murder, rape, and the sexual abuse of children.

Since January 2009, ICE has audited more than 3,200 employers suspected of hiring illegal labor, debarred 225 companies and individuals, and imposed approximately $50 million in financial sanctions -- more than the total amount of audits and debarments than during the entire previous administration.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts