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National Briefing / Washington, D.c.

Homeland Security faults cited

March 04, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The Homeland Security Department has failed to ensure that local and state law enforcement agencies pursue serious criminals and don't misuse their authority while enforcing immigration law, the Government Accountability Office reported.

Dozens of state and local agencies have teamed up with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to carry out immigration laws, the domain of the federal government. But ICE, a Homeland Security agency, has not clearly explained that serious offenders, such as drug smugglers, are the target, the GAO said in a report obtained by the Associated Press.

The GAO also found that ICE is not properly supervising its local and state partners. As a result, some agencies have focused on people arrested for speeding, carrying an open container or urinating in public, the GAO said. The report is to be released today.

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