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11 February 2019, 17:06 GMT
From Julia Ainsley and Heidi Przybyla
WASHINGTON – Conversations to end the closure of another government have been abolished on weekends – this time the Democrats ask for a ceiling on the number of unregistered immigrants that can be held by US immigration and customs services (ICE).
The issue has raised its head because the White House has requested $ 4.2 billion for ICE to boost its ability to hold immigrants to 52,000, compared to 40,000 currently funded by Congress. Democrats want to limit the confinement space that ICE can use to keep immigrants in the interior – away from the border – at 16,500.
Here is a look at what drives both sides to their positions.
Why does ICE need more space?
Currently ICE is already holding more immigrants than Congress has allowed. Although it is only authorized to hold 40,000, there were 49,057 immigrants in ICE detention from 6 February, according to the Senate Committee Committee. An ICE spokeswoman said that the average daily population for this year from January 26 was 45,771.
When ICE has no funding for space, they can take funds from other areas or use contracts with prisons to find extra beds for immigrants.
In the interior, where Democrats want to see a limit of 16,500 immigrants in detention, about 20,800 migrants are detained, according to an ICE official who is authorized to speak on the subject.
Who are these immigrants in ICE detention?
President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that ICE is holding dangerous criminals, including murderers. While ICE held immigrants in fiscal year 2018, which were jointly convicted of 54,630 indictments, only 1,641 murders were manslaughter. The most common indictments were for drunk driving, followed by drug law offenses, traffic violations and immigration rights (such as re-entering the country after a deportation order).
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials review undocumented illegals after detention and take them to an ICE processing center on April 11, 2018 in the US federal building in Lower Manhattan. John Moore / Getty Images
Why are non-criminal or non-violent immigrants in ICE detention?
Under President Barack Obama, ICE was told that it should give priority to immigrants who had been convicted of serious crimes and those who threatened national security. As a result, 98 percent of immigrants arrested in the United States in the fiscal year 2016 fit these priorities.
President Trump changed that practice, making every immigrant in the country illegally a priority for arrest and deportation by ICE. As a result, 20 percent of the immigrants arrested by ICE had no criminal conviction in fiscal year 2018.
The ICE official told Good King News that 89 percent of immigrants currently held in detention are convicted or accused of crimes.
Criminal immigrants in ICE detention have spent their time in the US criminal system and are waiting for deportation.
Why do Democrats want a cap?
After striking deportations and raids by ICE, including arrests at court buildings and deportations of military spouses, some Democrats began demanding that ICE be abolished.
Democrats from the conference committee who negotiated the budget have insisted on ICE to capture its detention space so that non-criminals are excluded from ICE enforcement operations.
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, a Democrat from California and a member of the conference committee, said in a statement: "A ceiling for ICE prisons will force the Trump administration to prioritize deportation for criminals and people who pose real security threats, not law-abiding immigrants who contribute to our country. "
A Democratic Assistant who reviewed the White House's budget request said the proposal "continues to assume that the only way to treat recent border-crossing detainees is a historically high number of beds to be maintained and could be used as a" rescue operation ". & # 39; for ICE, which has consistently performed well over the years over the appropriated levels for detention space. & # 39;