Published: February 3, 2009
The raids on homes around the country were billed as carefully planned
hunts for dangerous immigrant fugitives, and given catchy names like Operation
Return to Sender. [...]
Internal directives by immigration officials in 2006 raised arrest quotas
for each team in the National Fugitive Operations Program, eliminated a
requirement that 75 percent of those arrested be criminals, and then allowed the
teams to include nonfugitives in their count.
In the next year, fugitives with criminal records dropped to 9 percent
of those arrested, and nonfugitives picked up by chance — without a deportation
order — rose to 40 percent. Many were sent to detention centers far from their
homes, and deported.