Tags: Immigration | Illegal | immigrant | deportation | congress

White House Deporting Fewer Illegals Than Congress Budgeted

Monday, 15 Sep 2014 01:49 PM

The Obama administration is deporting fewer illegal immigrants than has been budgeted by Congress, fueling concerns that it's a form of executive amnesty being carried out by President Barack Obama, reports The Washington Times.

Congress has approved financial resources for the administration to deport about 400,000 illegals each year. But recent figures have indicated that the government is on track to deport 320,000 people in the fiscal year ending this month.

"Where is the money being wasted?" Jessica Vaughn, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, told the Times, noting that the figure appears to refute White House claims that the government is deporting as many people as it can within the confines of its budget.

"If they are underperforming in terms of numbers, how can there be an argument for further scaling back deportations, if they are already removing fewer people than they could be?" she said.

Vaughn was referring to a policy change being weighed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, in which tens of thousands of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally but don't have serious criminal records could be shielded from deportation.

The administration had deported 258,608 people by the end of July, according to an Associated Press report, a 20 percent decrease from 2013 and a 25 percent plunge from 2012 numbers.

Stephen Legomsky, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, said the possible decrease in deportations may be the result of the higher cost of booting unaccompanied children and families from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

"Different deportations cost different amounts of money," said Legomsky, who was once chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. "The figure of 400,000, I assume, was accurate at the time . . . but circumstances changed."

Legamsky was part of the legal team that crafted the policy that allowed young adult illegal immigrants to earn "deferred action," meaning they could stay temporarily in the U.S. as long as they earned a living.

But Vaughan questioned whether cost was a true factor in the light of the government's deportation procedures.

During 2011 and 2012 when around 400,000 people were deported each year, the government had a policy of transferring thousands of Mexican illegal immigrants to border crossing points hundreds of miles from where they entered.

But the program, aimed at preventing repeat crossings, has been scaled back since the surge of illegals from Central American countries, the Times said, adding that the extra finances could be used to pay for transporting undocumented migrants, including thousands of unaccompanied children, back to their homelands.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Homeland Security agency responsible for deportations, said in a statement that the final deportations have not yet tabulated and that it has been placing a higher priority on evicting certain illegal immigrants.

"ICE remains focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of convicted criminals and recent border entrants," the agency said.

Obama has suggested that he will put off making sweeping immigration changes by executive order until the November elections.

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The Obama administration is deporting fewer illegal immigrants than has been budgeted by Congress, fueling concerns that it's a form of executive amnesty being carried out by President Barack Obama, reports The Washington Times.
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2014-49-15
Monday, 15 Sep 2014 01:49 PM
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