Immigration Customs and Enforcement
ICE special agents arresting suspects during a raid.
Michigan has the second highest rate of arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in the nation, according to a report recently released by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.
The data from the report, which was analyzed by The Detroit Free Press
, shows that from Fiscal Year 2017 to May 2018, ICE arrested 1,498 immigrants in Michigan. With an estimated 129,000 undocumented immigrants living in the state, the rate of 11.6 arrests per 1,000 undocumented immigrants is about twice as high as the national average.
only took "community arrests" into account, meaning when "ICE arrests individuals it believes are deportable after it finds or encounters them out in the community.” These arrests are separate from what are called "custodial arrests," defined as immigrants who were previously arrested or detained by other law enforcement. This means that total arrests by ICE officers in Michigan is even higher.
According to the report, Pennsylvania had the highest rate of arrests of immigrants at 25.6 per 1,000 undocumented immigrants, followed by Michigan at 11.6 and Ohio at 11.4.
Ohio and Michigan are both overseen by the Detroit office of ICE, where statistics show
that the total number of arrests and deportations have spiked after President Donald Trump took office. All of Michigan is an ICE ‘border zone,’
which means that residents are subject to warrantless searches and detention. The Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from those random and arbitrary stops and searches, doesn't apply, since the state is surrounded by the Great Lakes and falls within 100 miles of a border. This may explain why the state has the second highest rate of arrests.
According to the ACLU of Michigan, people have the legal right to tell border agents the following — even if they are undocumented:
• "I am not required to answer your questions about my immigration status and do not wish to do so."
• "I do not consent to a search of my belongings."
• "I wish to remain silent."
People can also:
• Video record the interaction.
• Tell others they have rights and should use them, but do not block officers from performing their duties. The ACLU provides further information on immigrants' rights
Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.