Immigrant detainees walk through the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), detention facility on February 28, 2013 in Florence, Arizona. Photo: Getty Images/John Moore

A report released today by TRAC Immigration shows that only one in 10 immigrants currently being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) meet the criteria of posing a serious threat to national security.  ICE issued new guidelines in December requiring officials to reserve immigrant detainers for those convicted of serious criminal offenses, and new data collected six months later seems to show ICE is not honoring that directive.

Among those in detention as of June 2013, 62 percent have no criminal convictions, and most others have been convicted of minor criminal offenses such as traffic violations and marijuana possession. As the government shutdown looms over the possibility of immigration reform this year, the findings of this report highlight a critical area of failed policy that keeps people behind bars.