2016 Immigration Enforcement Nearly Nonexistent

'Non-priority' illegal aliens had minuscule chance of being deported

by Edmund Kozak | Updated 09 Jan 2017 at 4:36 PM

A “non-priority” illegal alien — one who has not been convicted of a serious crime — had a .5-percent chance of being deported in 2016, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data show.

According to ICE, only 65,332 of the roughly 11 million illegal aliens actually living inside the United States were deported in FY 2016. 60,312 of those deportations were of dangerous criminals — meaning ICE only deported 5,014 non-priority illegal aliens during the year.

“The lion’s share of the nation’s 11 million illegal aliens remain exempt from immigration enforcement altogether.”

ICE listed its total number of deportations for FY 2016 as 240,255 — but this is a misleading number.

Under the Obama administration, illegal aliens apprehended by Border Patrol are handed over the ICE for processing. Before Obama entered office, such apprehensions and returns were usually not considered to be deportations, unless the agencies worked together out of operational necessity.

“In total, 174,923 of the allegedly 240,255 ‘deportations’ in FY 2016 were actually border turn-arounds,” Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, told LifeZette. “The interior deportations are down 6 percent from last year and they are at a 10-year low. They are the lowest they have been since 2009,” she said. “In 2009 ICE removed about 238,000 from the interior; in 2016 it was roughly 65,000,” she added.

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The number of removals of illegal aliens in 2016 represents a decline of over 40 percent since FY 2012, according to analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “This has been deliberate,” said Vaughan. “The steepest drop came after the … failure of the Gang of Eight bill when they deliberately dismantled deportations in the interior.”

“This has been a really big trend under the Obama administration,” Vaughan continued. “When Obama took office, nearly two-thirds of all cases were interior cases — 64 percent,” she noted. In 2016, only 27 percent of ICE deportations were interior cases.

Perhaps most shocking is the fact that Obama’s refusal to properly enforce immigration laws is a failure even by his own standards. In 2013, Obama’s Department of Homeland Security identified roughly 1.9 million illegal aliens residing in the country who were eligible for deportation.

“Interior enforcement is what ICE’s main responsibility is, and it’s what Americans notice in their neighborhoods,” Vaughan said. 

"The Obama administration's policy of non-enforcement of U.S. immigration laws has resulted in tens of thousands of criminal aliens being released onto the streets while the lion's share of the nation's 11 million illegal aliens remain exempt from immigration enforcement altogether," David Ray, communications director for FAIR, told LifeZette.

"The administration's non-enforcement mentality has incentivized illegal immigration while all but destroying the morale of America's dedicated immigration enforcement officers," Ray continued.

  1. FAIR
  2. Federation for American Immigration Reform
  3. ice
  4. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
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