Disturbing Deportation Policy

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
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I want to thank Nick Welsh and the Independent for bringing to the community’s attention the previously concealed Probation Department policy of cooperating with the immigration police (ICE, the acronym for Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in deporting juveniles, many of whom were accused of very minor offenses.

As Nick correctly reported, in our initial report we miscalculated the rate at which juveniles admitted to Juvenile Hall were turned over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for deportation. The rate is found by dividing the number of juveniles turned over to ICE by the number of admissions. Unlike the other three counties, the Santa Barbara Probation Department did not supply the admissions data, a fact we did not realize. We interpreted the number of notifications by Probation to ICE of “suspected” undocumented aliens as the total number of admissions. When incorrectly viewed as total admissions to juvenile facilities, these numbers were very low relative to those of the other counties, but they are extremely high when correctly interpreted as reports to ICE of suspected juveniles.

A corrected report based on intake numbers provided to both Nick and myself reveals a far more disturbing picture of the heretofore concealed deportation policy of our Probation Department. Documents provided (and reproduced in the revised report) reveal an extraordinary dedication to reporting to ICE every single juvenile who comes into contact with Probation, whether or not admitted to Juvenile Hall, if the mandated profiling process concludes that he or she may be undocumented. In fact, ICE only deports a small (but growing) number of these profiled “suspects”. That does not stop higher-ups in Probation from demanding of staff that no matter how many times a newly referred youth has previously been profiled by Probation and reported to ICE, he or she must once again be profiled, and if found to be a “suspect” ICE is once again to notified. The complete revised report is found on the IMPORTA website,

It is also important to correct a misimpression given by Beverly Taylor, who heads up the Probation Department. Taylor is reported as saying that not all juveniles “released to ICE” are actually deported. “Released” is a euphemism; these juveniles are arrested by ICE and placed into “removal” (another euphemism) proceedings, meaning that they will almost surely be deported regardless of whether they are temporarily returned to their families. Even the few with the resources to hire an attorney rarely escape deportation, although the new DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program may offer hope for some. Zealously profiling all the juveniles it encounters, and turning over the names of “suspects” to ICE for deportation is, in our opinion, contrary to civilized standards of morality.

This investigation is only a peripheral part of IMPORTA’s work which is centered on facilitating the integration of Santa Barbara County’s very large (well over 40%) Hispanic immigrant community into American civic life. We are working (with extremely limited resources) to support struggling organizations that provide important recreational and educational services to young people, working to encourage green card holders to naturalize and Latino citizens to vote; and supporting educational programs, and especially ESL programs, for adult immigrants.

Our largest initiative to date is providing immigrants with assistance with complex immigration issues. IMPORTA is the only non-profit in Santa Barbara County authorized by the US Department of Justice to provide immigration legal services. Most immigrants cannot afford to hire a qualified immigration attorney and often end up being victimized by incompetent “notarios” some of whom are no more than con artists.

Russell Trenholme is the executive director of IMPORTA Santa Barbara


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Wait, I am a bit confused?
Why do many of the illegal immigrants who march, also carry and wave Mexican flags in their hands or on their cars, or wear "Hecho en Mexico" shirts or have Che Guevera stickers, shirts and emblems?

If they are so proud of Mexico and their heritage and Latino's like Che, then what is so bad about going back to Mexico - and raising their children there with extended families and their native culture, etc.?

Is it because Mexican's have allowed their country to devolve into a near-failed state (I am not talking about the drug war violence) based on socialism which has led to a miniscule middle class and little/no opportunity and a fraction of the USA's standard of living?

And so they want to come here and demand opportunity from us? Illegally? and break our laws by being here illegally? and step to the front of the line? and subject their children to these risks of illegal presence?

and we are supposed to ignore all this?

willy88 (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 3:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You should have a column "Wait, I am a Bit Confused?" all about punctuation and grammar.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 5:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Of course the root of the problem--the fact that life in Mexico is so bad that people are leaving in droves--is something Mr. Trenholme and the activitsts fail to address.

Let's start with the failed drug war, NAFTA, and the fact that Mexico's system of government is based on a paternalistic approach which inevitably puts the power into the hands of the few and maybe we'll get somewhere.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 6:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think Bill nailed it.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 6:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Come on Bill, calling their system merely paternalistic fails to capture the breadth and depth of corruption, greed, and graft that are the basis of their system. And no folks, there is no sanctioned system in this country that even approaches the mess we refer to as Mexico.
Poor Russell, he gets a front page story on his wacky cause, replete with proof that he lied about his emotional statistics, and he still feels the need to write an editorial defending illegal aliens. Please find the rock you first crawled out from under and go subterranean once again...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 7:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There is nothing immoral about removing people that are here illegally. They don't belong in this country. They belong in their country of citizenship. We have no obligation to these people just because they decided to break our laws.

Botany (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 11:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If the shoe were on the other foot, their laws would put us American's in their Prisons for life or whan our loved ones could cough-up the ransom. We don't follow the same rules, cause the Paso is so devalued that it wouldn't be worth the cost.
Illegal is Illegal, anyway you slice it, its still against AMERICAN laws, not mexican laws.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 11:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany, there is nothing moral about having closed borders. What on earth makes you think that you should be entitled to live here while someone else cannot? The only reason we have this land in the first place is because we fought a war for it. How is that moral?

Government is supposed to exist to protect our rights, life and property. They exist to protect us from invasion. They don't exist to stop non-violent immigrants to come here to work.

The best way to handle this would be to end our foreign empire, end the war on drugs and end government managed trade agreements like NAFTA and free up trade. Allow Mexico to change their Constitution back to the way it was before 1992 if they want to, when we forced them to allow corporations to buy up land from the government that actually belonged to subsistence farmers. That resulted in a doubling of the poverty rate in Mexico and caused a huge influx of immigration into our country. That was our government's fault for pressuring the Mexican government into destroying their Constitution. I wonder how many other ways it is our fault that their government is messed up - we are probably to blame for the vast majority of reasons - chief among them being the war on drugs enabling the cartels to run their various governmental and law enforcement agencies.

Have you heard of Operation Fast and Furious? Our government provides the drug cartels with weapons. And you want to blame Mexico for their problems?? Really??

loonpt (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 12:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Botz is just another troll, loonpt, and logic doesn't work with him/her...

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 12:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The reality, rather than the perception is that more undocumented people are leaving the US than are entering the US. Mexico is not a "failed state." In a few years they will overtake China as the largest exporter to the United States.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 12:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Loonpt - Don't get me wrong, I like immigration. I think the right kind of immigration is the future of our country. We should have an immigration policy that encourages legal immingration for those that qualify.

But if people break our laws by overstaying their visas or crossing the border illegally, the only moral obligation we have to them is to see that they get back to their country of citizenship safely.

What is immoral is telling another country how to run their government. Mexico is an independent country and has a right to decide it's own laws. Certainly we can and should engage in trade with them.

We also have an obligation to seal the borders not only to protect our own country, but to protect Mexico as well. The money the cartels get from drug sales goes back to Mexico to finance criminal operations there. It is in both of our best interest to eliminate that flow of drugs and money.

Botany (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 1:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We all know that opinions and beliefs often have nothing to do with logic (on all sides of an argument) but surely you're feigning offense and using the term "troll" fast and loose here, DrDan. Botany didn't express a unique or particularly inflammatory opinion. Who here hasn't been exposed to someone who believes that illegal immigrants don't belong here?

Disagreeing with someone does not make them a troll. If you truly think Botany's statement was inflammatory (which would justify the term, "troll"), you need a little more exposure to people who truly fit the definition of a troll. Try 4chan or Reddit.

As with many of the issues discussed here, immigration law is entirely too complex to be sorted out successfully in this forum and format, but many of you valiantly try again and again to persuade others to not only understand your point of view, but to adopt it. When agreement fails, communication often breaks down and the name calling and put-downs are inevitably typed (e.g., intentionally misspelling someone's screen name, calling someone a troll, illogical, liberal, etc.).

We don't get many trolls here and when we do they usually get bored or flame out and disappear pretty quickly so most of the time, using the word "troll" is a way to call someone a name without being censored by the Indy. It's a loophole in the name calling rule that the Indy should consider looking into closing.

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 1:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

you need a little more exposure to people -- ah, yes, your omiscience...hey, aren't you just here for entertainment, not lecturing others??

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 2:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Come on Bill, calling their system merely paternalistic fails to capture the breadth and depth of corruption, greed, and graft that are the basis of their system. " -italiansurg (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 7:21 p.m.

Paternalism sows the seeds for the ills you cite.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 2:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No worries KP, Dan resorts to name calling and fight picking when he runs out of logical arguments to present. It's not taken personally.

Botany (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Herchel: I'm aware that on the international scene, Mexico is poised to become a huge economy. (Like China already is) The question--especially as it relates to this thread--is this: Will the living conditions for the average person increase to the point where they won't feel the need to risk their lives to leave Mexico, or will it continue to pour money into the hand of the elite few that run that country?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 2:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

For the record: Former Mexican president Fox said that Mexico will be the 5th largest economy by about the middle of this century.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 2:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I find lecturing you quite entertaining.

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 2:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

glad to make your day, KP, lecturing anonymous others...hurrah! Botany " I hate to see what your finances look like." who picks fights? You are both hilarious.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 2:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"You are both hilarious." @DrDan

Hilarious is a little bit of an exaggeration, but thank you!

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 4:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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