WAMU 88.5 : News

D.C. Deporting Undocumented Immigrants At Lower Rate Than Many Cities

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Immigration reform advocates marched on the U.S. Capitol in April.
Jared Angle
Immigration reform advocates marched on the U.S. Capitol in April.

Thirty people have been deported from D.C. under a program that requires states and localities to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, according to data from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE.

The Washington Times reports that people living in the country illegally are being deported from the District at a lower rate than most states and big cities. The Times reports that the District submitted nearly 18,000 fingerprint records to ICE from June through March 31. Its deportation rate was second-lowest among the 14 cities with populations of 500,000 or more that gave data to ICE, trailing only Baltimore.

The District is required to send fingerprints to ICE under the Secure Communities program. But city leaders have resisted cooperating with immigration authorities in other ways.

In late 2011, Mayor Vincent Gray renewed a longstanding practice of ordering police not to inquire about immigration status during routine traffic stops or criminal investigations. He also limited the amount of time that certain non-violent offenders wanted by federal authorities would be held for immigration violations.

Earlier this month Gray announced that he would seek to have D.C. give undocumented immigrants driver's licenses. 

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