Nearly half of the undocumented immigrants tagged by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2012-2013 for possible deportation had no criminal convictions, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse says.
TRAC, which is based at Syracuse University, analyzed ICE data for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years and found that only 12 percent of the 436,000 people slapped with ICE detainers, or immigration holds, had been convicted of a serious crime.
The figures also show wide disparities among the states, TRAC said in a report released earlier this week.
While only 29 percent of detainers in Idaho were placed on migrants with no convictions, the proportion topped 70 percent in Missouri, Alabama and Kansas.
Of the just over 50 percent of the subjects of ICE detainers who were declared guilty of some crime, 9 percent were for DUI and 6 percent were for traffic violations, according to official figures.
The number of people deported who have committed serious crimes declined at the beginning of fiscal year 2014, which began Oct. 1.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, a scant 3.6 percent, or 637, of the 17,689 people deported up to November 2013 had been declared guilty of serious crimes.