Obama’s Deportation Claims Disputed

By Jessica M. Vaughan on April 19, 2013

The administration and the Gang of Eight attempt to convince the public that enforcement efforts are working by repeatedly reporting that a record number of illegal immigrants are being deported. However, according to internal and previously un-published ICE statistics, immigration enforcement activity, especially in the interior, has been in decline since the imposition of the Obama administration’s “prosecutorial discretion” policies in June 2011.

Unpublished official statistics in enforcement activity were revealed recently during a federal lawsuit in Texas filed by 10 ICE agents and officers over Obama administration policies that they say prevent them from enforcing immigration laws and have resulted in the release of thousands of illegal aliens who have committed crimes. Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, testified in court with her analysis of the enforcement statistics.

The ICE statistics contradict the administration’s claims to have adopted policies that result in more effective enforcement.

For more details on the how the administration has cooked its removal statistics in a way that gives lawmakers and the public the false impression that enforcement has improved, see:

Among the key findings:

  • The total number of removals has declined by 40% since May, 2011 (which covers the period of the so-called “Morton Memo” on prosecutorial discretion and the DACA directive of last summer);
  • The number of removals of convicted criminals, which is ICE’s stated top priority, is also about 36% lower now than before the policy was adopted;
  • The number of removals by ERO, the division of ICE that is responsible for identifying and removing criminal aliens, is down 50% from before the Morton Memo;
  • Meanwhile, the number of aliens (non-citizens) being arrested and referred to ICE is growing – that number rose 24% over the same period.
  • DHS has been able to mask this decline in interior criminal enforcement by substituting Border Patrol removal cases for interior cases;
  • In 2008, Border Patrol cases represented 33% of all removals. So far in this fiscal year, Border Patrol cases represent 56% of all removals. As expressed in its own statistics, the priority for ICE now seems to be supporting the Border Patrol, rather than locating and removing criminal aliens in the United States.