Buzzfeed: The Trump Administration Now Jails Nearly Every Immigrant It Arrests In New York – Including Those Who Don’t Pose A Threat, A New Lawsuit Alleges

This has had a massive effect in New York, the lawsuit alleges: In the four years prior to the algorithm change, about half of immigrants arrested in New York who were regarded as low risk were released until their trial. Now 96% of them are held in jail for as long as three months, the lawsuit says.

In 2018 — the first full calendar year after the changes — the algorithm deferred its recommendations to a supervisor for 119 of the 128 (93%) lowest-risk immigrants in New York City, and recommended detention for the other nine, according to data provided by the NYCLU to BuzzFeed News. Whereas many of those immigrants would have been released previously, ICE supervisors chose instead to detain nearly all of them.

“The impact of detention on detained immigrants can be devastating, separating people from their families and communities,” said Thomas Scott-Railton, an Immigrant Justice Corps fellow at the Bronx Defenders. “Detention can be particularly harmful — even fatal — for people with physical and mental health needs, because the health services at New York City–area detention facilities are woefully inadequate.”

The changes have contributed, in part, to a massive increase in the number of undocumented immigrants detained in ICE custody. Nearly 50,000 people across the country were held in ICE detention centers at the end of April 2019, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. This is almost double the number of people who were detained in 2015. Sixty-four percent of the people detained as of April 2019 had no criminal conviction, up from 39% in early 2015.

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