The Trump administration's first list of immigrants who have committed crimes was officially released Monday.
In an even more troubling move, the report lists identifying information for undocumented immigrants released from jails that don't comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers. While the list of "aliens" doesn't include names, it does include the state, county, and name of the jail; their country of origin; when the detainer was issued and declined; and the crime they committed.
In early March, ATTN: wrote about the announcement of a new Department Of Homeland Security (DHS) office called VOICE — Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement. The initiative was based on President Donald Trump's immigration executive order from January that instructed federal agencies not to apply the Privacy Act of 1974 to people who aren't U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
Trump claimed the office would be responsible for publishing a weekly list of crimes allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants and would serve as "a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests."
Critics of the measure compared it to the Nazi government and media organs publishing lists of Jews who had committed minor crimes, ramping up public anti-Semitism and laying the groundwork for the Holocaust. While there hasn't been a VOICE crime list published yet, the Department of Homeland Security took another step forward in publicizing undocumented crimes by releasing the first "Declined Detainer Outcome Report."
These weekly lists will be created by ICE, and the agency's website touts it will "highlight jurisdictions that choose not to cooperate with ICE detainers or requests for notification, therefore potentially endangering Americans."
A detainer is a legal instrument taken out on an undocumented immigrant (who are consistently referred to in the ICE document as "aliens") arrested for a crime at the local level, allowing ICE to take custody and deport them.
The Trump administration had publicly vowed to name and shame jurisdictions that ignored these detainers, known as "sanctuary cities." Sure enough, the Outcome Report breaks down how many detainers were issued to "non-coopertive jurisdictions" listed by county between Jan. 28 to Feb. 3.
This particular list has 206 individuals, the majority of whom are from Latin American countries, with Mexico and Honduras as the most cited countries of citizenship.
This information might be enough for "concerned citizens" to use publicly available inmate lists to track down recently-released inmates in their area. Beyond that, according to Vice, a "DHS spokesperson said the department was actively working with its in-house lawyers to find ways to release the names of immigrants in future reports without contravening federal law."
Between the Declined Detainer lists and the ramping up of the VOICE program, it's clear that undocumented immigrants are clearly in the crosshairs of the Trump administration. And while some of the names on the first have committed serious crimes including a homicide, numerous sexual assaults, and several child abuse convictions; many others are simple drug possession, burglary, and a few unspecified crimes such as "dangerous drugs" or "liquor."
The list does nothing to prevent crimes that have already happened, and seemingly serves to paint immigrants as criminals - a propaganda style that's likely to enflame racial tension and endanger innocent people.