by Carolyn May
Deportations from the interior of the United States declined 34 percent this year from last, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies, derived largely from an internal Department of Homeland Security document.
The CIS report released Wednesday and authored by the group’s director of policy studies, Jessica Vaughan, details the decline in immigration enforcement and reveals that there remain nearly 167,000 convicted criminal immigrants with final orders of removal still in the United States and “currently at large.”
“Prosecutorial discretion as practiced by the Obama administration has transformed immigration enforcement into a massive catch-and-release program that makes a joke of the law, fails to deter illegal settlement, and allows even illegal aliens who commit crimes to remain here,” Vaughan said Wednesday.
“These policies inflict real harm on Americans and legal immigrants,” she continued, “in the form of lost jobs, depressed wages, additional social services, and even lost lives. In addition, with the rise of ISIS and other terrorist groups around the world, our lax policies represent an unnecessary national security risk.”
Vaughn’s data originates from a Sept. 22 “Weekly Departures and Detention Report (WRD)”. The WRD, according to Vaugh’s footnote, is authored by the Statistical Tracking Unit of the Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Based on her report, the nearly 167,000 convicted criminal aliens “at large” are likely just the tip of the iceberg, as since Sept. 20 ICE officers reported 170,125 “encounters with aliens deemed a criminal threat.” Vaughn explained in her report that “just 90,500 criminal aliens were issued charging documents, indicating a startlingly large number — potentially nearly 80,000 — of illegal aliens with criminal histories who were able to escape deportation proceedings in 2014.”
Further the number of immigrants who have been given final orders of removal but have remained in the United States grew by about 25,000 cases this year from last.
“As of the end of the 2013 fiscal year, the total number of post-final-order aliens remaining in the country was 872,504,” Vaughn wrote in her report, noting that the number of post-final-order aliens as of Sept. 20, 2014 is now 897,572.
“The number of “non-departed” convicted criminal aliens grew by nearly 7,000,” she wrote. “Even more concerning, the number of at-large post-final-order convicted criminals grew by nearly 8,000 cases, while the number of detained aliens in that category shrank by nearly 1,000 cases. This means that more of the criminal aliens that ICE has been unable to remove are at large than ever before.”
Other striking statistics Vaughn revealed include:
-Total deportations credited to ICE, the majority of which were illegal aliens arrested by the Border Patrol and CBP officers at the ports of entry, declined 15 percent from 2013 to 2014.
-Deportations from the interior dropped 34 percent from last year, and are 58 percent lower than the peak in 2009.
-The number of criminal aliens deported from the interior also declined 23 percent since last year, and declined by 39 percent since the peak in 2011.
-Catch and release policies continue. In 2014, deportation processing was initiated for approximately 143,000 aliens out of the 585,000 aliens encountered by ICE agents. Tens of thousands of those let go had been labeled a criminal threat.
-The number of aliens who have received a final order of removal, but who are still in the United States, has risen to nearly 900,000. Nearly 167,000 of these are convicted criminals who were released by ICE and are currently at large.
Vaughn concluded that interior immigration enforcement “it is in a state of collapse” and called on Congress to restrain the Obama administration from moving forward with any more executive actions.
“Congress can affect this situation by restraining further executive action that would shield even more illegal residents from enforcement, and by insisting that the executive branch agencies spend the public funds they receive to carry out their enforcement mission in a way that is consistent with congressional and public expectations,” she wrote.