1,488 U.S. Citizens Mistakenly Arrested, Detained by ICE Since 2012

A Los Angeles Times investigation published Friday found the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency “repeatedly” targeted and apprehended U.S. citizens for deportation by mistake, releasing 1,488 from custody since 2012. Nearly one-fifth of all citizenship claims of those in custody turned out to be accurate after they were investigated by ICE. The mistaken arrests usually stemmed from “incomplete government records, bad data, and lax investigations,” the report states. Extreme cases required those imprisoned to “prove” their citizenship and to stay in detention for months or years. Others were repeatedly targeted once released from imprisonment, and those in custody would often have their claims of citizenship or documents proving citizenship ignored or rebuffed. According to the Times, the two groups most vulnerable for wrongful arrest are “children of immigrants and citizens born outside the country.”