A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that ICE is arresting and removing noticeably fewer illegal aliens from the interior now than was the case five years ago, and even two years ago. The focus has shifted away from interior enforcement in favor of processing aliens who are apprehended by the Border Patrol. Despite reports of an emphasis on criminal alien removal from the interior, those removals have also declined.
The number of deportations that will be attributed to ICE for FY2013 is 364,700, according to information obtained by the Center despite a gag order from the ICE front office. That number is down 11 percent from 2012. Of these, approximately 216,800 were criminals, which is four percent less than 2012. These numbers fell despite an increase in the number of illegal aliens encountered by ICE agents in the interior.
The Obama administration’s assertion that they have achieved a record number of deportations, proving illegal immigration is under control and the time is right for amnesty for the 11 million illegal immigrants presently in the country, is invalid.
View the entire report at: http://cis.org/ICE-Illegal-Immigrant-Deportations
“It was astounding to discover that ICE has been arresting and removing so few illegal aliens from inside the country, considering that they have better tools and more resources at their disposal than ever before, and considering that there is an abundance of criminal aliens and illegal workers who should be removed,” said Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies for the Center. “They have used statistical smoke and mirrors to obscure the disastrous results of so-called prosecutorial discretion and other enforcement-suppressing policies. The next step in immigration reform should be to restore credibility to ICE’s interior programs, especially including worksite enforcement and Secure Communities.”
- The number of deportations resulting from interior enforcement by ICE declined by 19 percent from 2011 to 2012, and is on track to decline another 22 percent in 2013.
- In 2012, the year the Obama administration claimed to break enforcement records, more than one-half of removals attributed to ICE were the result of Border Patrol arrests that would never have been counted as a removal in prior years. In 2008, under the Bush administration, only one-third of removals were from Border Patrol arrests.
- Total deportations in 2011, the latest year for which complete numbers are available, numbered 715,495 – the lowest level since 1973. The highest number of deportations on record was in 2000, under the Clinton administration, when 1,864,343 aliens were deported.
- When claiming record levels of enforcement, the Obama administration appears to count only removals, which are just one form of deportation, and only a partial measure of enforcement. Beginning in 2011, a shift of some of the routine Border Patrol case load to ICE enabled the administration to count an artificially high number of removals.
- Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the division of ICE that is responsible for work site enforcement, combating transnational gangs, overstay enforcement, anti-smuggling and trafficking activity, and busting document and identity theft rings, now contributes very little to immigration enforcement. In 2013 HSI has produced only four percent of ICE deportations, making just a few thousand arrests per year throughout the entire country.
- ICE is doing less enforcement with more resources. Despite reporting more encounters in 2013 than 2012, ICE agents pursued deportation of 20 percent fewer aliens this year than last.
- Enforcement activity declined in every ICE field office from 2011 to 2013, with the biggest declines in the Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Washington DC/Virginia, and Houston field offices.
- Criminal alien arrests declined by 11 percent from 2012 to 2013, despite the completion of the Secure Communities program, which generates more referrals of arrested aliens than ever before. ICE agents took a pass on hundreds of thousands of aliens who were arrested by local authorities in those years.
- ICE is carrying a case load of 1.8 million aliens who are either in removal proceedings or have already been ordered removed. Less than two percent are in detention, which is the only proven way to ensure departure.
- As of the end of July 2013 there were 872,000 aliens – nearly half of ICE’s total docket – who had been ordered removed but who had not left the country.
- The State Department continues to issue tens of thousands of visas annually to citizens of countries that refuse to take back their countrymen who are ordered removed from the United States. Many of these are violent criminals.
The data for this report was from a collection of mostly unpublished internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) statistics.
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985. It is the nation’s only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.