LatinaLista — Immigrant advocates have long contended that there are some U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who abuse their authority and/or the law when dealing with undocumented immigrants. Those allegations took on new scrutiny today in Dallas, Texas where it was revealed that the Dallas ICE office was under federal investigation for mishandling money belonging to immigrant detainees.
Nuria Prendes, the top official in Dallas’ ICE office, resigned and ICE has announced she is retiring at the end of the month. Her sudden departure comes just as the FBI is investigating what Prendes’ office did with thousands of dollars confiscated from undocumented immigrants who were waiting release or deportation. Last year alone, Prendes’ office was responsible for deporting 16,000 undocumented immigrants.
According to ICE policy, once immigrants are picked up for detention in ICE’s care, they must hand over all their personal possessions. Once they are either cleared for deportation or release, their possessions — in their entirety — are to be returned.
Yet, many immigrants claimed they weren’t getting their money back.
Whether or not Prendes was personally involved remains to the investigation but it happened under her watch and for that she is guilty. Already several other agents have been “transferred” out of the office.
Sources tell Latina Lista that more resignations are coming.