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Interior immigration detentions appear to be on the rise

If there's one topic that is likely to arouse contentious debate in both political and private circles, immigration may be it. If New Jersey residents were asked to participate in a survey regarding personal or political views on immigration and, in particular, immigration detentions, results would no doubt vary. Some might say reform and advocacy is greatly needed for immigrants in this state and throughout the nation and others would probably call for more stringent regulation and increased deportations.

Some say that since the current president took office, the number of deportations has greatly decreased. A quick glance at updated statistics would appear to substantiate that claim. In fact, there have been at least 14,000 less deportations than there were a year ago. However, those numbers do not necessarily include interior detentions, meaning immigrants who are arrested after already residing within the United States as opposed to being stopped at the border.

Those calling for reform say immigrants living in the United States are at great risk. It used to be that immigration officials would steer clear of certain areas when seeking to make arrests for possible removals. Such areas typically included churches, schools and courthouses; now, many immigrant advocates say there are no safe locations as immigration officials are increasing their efforts to make interior arrests, no matter where a particular immigrant happens to be at the time.

In New York City, there was reportedly a substantial  increase in interior arrests taking place, particularly at courthouses, that were once treated as off limits by immigration officers. New Jersey officials say they have seen similar increases in this state. Anyone facing immigration detention or worried about a loved one who has been arrested may seek support by meeting with an experienced immigration law attorney.

Source: thenation.com, "Why Numbers Alone Obscure the Real Deportation Story", Julianne Hing, Dec. 28, 2017

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