Tags: Barack Obama | Homeland Security | Immigration | Latin America | Mexico | War on Terrorism | Obama

Report Shows Obama 'Free Fall' in Arrests, Deportations

By    |   Friday, 24 Apr 2015 06:05 PM

Deportations of illegal immigrants have dropped by another 25 percent so far this year, a further sign that President Barack Obama's executive amnesty program has hampered removal efforts, federal statistics show.

The figures for the first six months of fiscal 2015, which began Oct. 1, are "striking," The Washington Times reports, with the government deporting only 117,181 immigrants — just 75 percent of the 157,365 who were deported during the same period a year earlier.

"This is a stunning free fall in enforcement activity, not just deportations but arrests, too," said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies.

According to Vaughan, the figures show that "even criminal arrests and deportations have dropped, including those of the 'worst of the worst' Level 1 felons, and the huge numbers of criminal releases continue."

Overall, the Times reports, deportations are down by 41 percent since 2012, the beginning of Obama's "temporary" deportation amnesty for so-called "dreamers" — young people illegally brought into the United States by their parents.

That program granted two-year legal status and work permits to illegal immigrants who were young adults. In November, Obama followed that up with expanded amnesty providing work permits and legal status to illegal immigrant parents with children who are legal permanent residents of the United States or U.S. citizens.

Obama said his policies were designed to target "felons, not families," through enforcement efforts, but as The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan observes, "the numbers suggest he's fallen short on finding the felons as well."

As of April 4, 2015 — about halfway through the current fiscal year — the government had deported about 68,000 criminals, down 30 percent from the roughly 96,500 criminals deported during the same period one year earlier.

Gillian Christensen, spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which handles deportations, said one reason removals have fallen is that relatively fewer  illegal immigrants are coming from Mexico and more are arriving from Central America.

The latter are more expensive to hold and deport, Christensen said.

"Removals of non-Mexican nationals require additional detention capacity, efforts to secure travel documents from the host country and the arrangement of air transportation. As a result, more time, officer resources, and funding are required to complete the removal process for nationals from Central America and other noncontiguous countries," she said.

Christensen added that ICE's work has been undermined by the more than 200 states, cities, and counties that have passed laws and ordinances preventing police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

"When laws and ordinances are passed limiting the use of detainers, ICE must expend additional staff and resources to develop and execute operations to locate and arrest convicted criminals at large," she said.

ICE caved to pressure from these scofflaw jurisdictions, often referred to as "sanctuary" cities and states. As part of Obama's November executive amnesty, ICE scrapped its program that asked locales to hold illegal immigrants for pickup by federal authorities.

ICE is developing a replacement program that asks jails and prisons to alert ICE ahead of releasing someone, which would at least enable immigration agents to be on hand to pick up illegal immigrants once local officials release them, The Times reports.

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Deportations of illegal immigrants have dropped by another 25 percent so far this year, a further sign that President Barack Obama's executive amnesty program has hampered removal efforts, federal statistics show.
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2015-05-24
Friday, 24 Apr 2015 06:05 PM
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