Deportations On ICE As Democrats Push Immigration Reform

Amid Democrats’ call for comprehensive immigration reform this year, skeptics say lawmakers should find out how billions in tax dollars are falling through the sieve of enforcement programs.
PROTESTS: Immigrants are demanding a halt to deportations. Photo: Justin Duckham/TRNS

PROTESTS: Immigrants are demanding a halt to deportations. Photo: Justin Duckham/TRNS

By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Contrary to President Obama’s claims of record deportations, John Sandweg, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, admits ICE deported only 134,000 illegal immigrants from the country’s interior in 2012.

That figure — down 40 percent since 2009, when Obama took office — represents just 0.2 percent of the estimated 11.7 million illegals in the United States.

The administration and its political allies assert that Washington is spending more on immigration enforcement than on the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service and all other federal criminal law-enforcement agencies combined.

“Nearly $187 billion (was) spent on federal immigration enforcement over the past 26 years,” according to the Migration Policy Institute, a pro-immigration group.

But MPI buries the real news. Under Obama, ICE’s budget dropped from $5.98 billion in 2012 to a requested $5.34 billion for 2014. Citing financial constraints, ICE freed more than 2,000 detainees last February.

Deportations from the interior have declined under Obama’s “prosecutorial discretion” policies that exempt at least 90 percent of the undocumented population.

Overall, deportations by all federal agencies, as defined by the administration, fell from 409,849 in fiscal year 2012 to 368,644 in fiscal 2013.

“ICE arrests have been trending downward since 2008,” says Jessica Vaughn, director of policy studies at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies.

“ICE agents now are releasing more illegals than they are deporting, even though they have more resources and technology at their disposal.”

The Clinton administration holds the record for deportations, at 12.3 million over eight years. George W. Bush’s administration shipped back 10.3 million illegals during his tenure.

An Obama White House briefing paper on “border security” never mentions the word “deportation.”

Critics say Congress should closely analyze expenditures and results as the White House and Democratic lawmakers make a political push to legalize more illegals.

“Those who support amnesty are playing along with the administration’s claim that it is continuing to enforce the law,” says the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Yet former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano repeatedly claimed she only had the resources to remove 400,000 illegal immigrants annually.

“They’ve used this as an excuse to stop nearly all deportations of illegals without additional criminal convictions. At the same time, ICE and DHS have not requested additional funding to ensure broad enforcement of immigration laws,” FAIR spokeswoman Kristen Williamson told Watchdog.org.

Still, the “Deporter-in-Chief” narrative is echoed by immigration enthusiasts and mainstream media outlets, including the New York Times.

“Illegal immigration has been higher in the last decade than 20 or 40 years ago, and apprehensions are down,” Vaughn counters.

Meantime, the Government Accountability Office reports that DHS, which oversees ICE and 21 other agencies, had achieved operational control of only a “small share” of the southwest border. Republican leaders have made border security a key precondition for any proposed immigration deal.

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Kenric Ward
Kenric Ward is chief of Watchdog.org's Virginia Bureau. He has been a reporter and editor at the San Jose Mercury News, Las Vegas Sun and several other newspapers. Most recently, he was chief political correspondent for Sunshine State News in Florida. Ward holds a bachelor's degree in political science from UCLA and resides in Fredericksburg, Va.
  • Dave Francis

    Dec 3rd

    Here is yet numerous reasons why this
    immigration Senate Reform bill MUST be stopped?—in any form? Here are some
    facts in the bill you will never hear from the Leftist media. According to the
    Immigration Senate bill—Amnesty, it represents another fraudulent Amnesty
    played upon the American people as in the 1986 Reform and Control Act. The
    Simpson-Mazzoli bill was stringent on enforcement, but in truth nothing was
    done. No employer enforcement as corruption was rampant, just as it is
    today. The worst case Scenario is
    California, which has been become a sickening joke, beginning enacting a law on
    January 1st allowing illegal aliens to practice law? WHAT KIND OF CRAP
    IS THAT? WHAT’S NEXT AN ILLEGAL ALIEN RUNNING FOR CONGRESS? WE ALREADY CAN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT ILLEGAL
    ALIENS GET BETTER TREATMENT THAN OUR VETERANS?

    WHAT WE
    NEED IS A HIGHLY CONFRONTATION COMMANDER IN CHIEF, AS THE NEXT PRESIDENT. NOT
    CHRIS CHRISTIE, NOT HILLARY CLINTON. WHO WE NEED
    TO FIGHT FOR EVERY CITIZEN IS A MAN HIGHLY REGARDED—THAT MAN IS JEFF SESSIONS
    OF ALABAMA. I WILL ONLY
    VOTE FOR A MAN OR WOMEN WHO STAND WITHOUT QUESTION FOR THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
    AND NOT INSTITUTING HIS OWN POLICIES AND SIDE TRACKING CONGRESS AS THIS
    PRESIDENT HAS? Sen. Sessions is honest
    and straight forward and committed to the “Rule of Law” unfortunately not the
    ideology of the leftist progressives and their movement morph this great
    country into Socialist nightmare. I am an Independent and have no love for
    either party and instead moved towards the moderate Conservatism of the TEA
    PARTY.

    Just look at the sly, secrets written into the
    Immigration Senate bill—Comprehensive AMNESTY:

    1. They are not required to learn English;
    they only have to bring a receipt for a class they paid? Not prove they passed
    or attended the classes.

    2. Unbelievably it’s permissible to have criminal records. Up to 3 misdemeanors
    and 1 “light” felony; which including drug possession and sexual
    assault. That means those criminals who stole a citizen or legal residents
    Social Security Number is forgiven, even they caused tremendous anxiety and
    limitless frustration trying to proof to financial entities and the government,
    that they were the PREY?

    3. They will allow gang members if they sign a piece of paper that says they
    promise to stay away from gang activities and leave the gang. No gang member
    should be exempt from prosecution and deportation.

    4. They WILL be entitled to welfare programs if they are pregnant, disabled,
    mentally ill, elderly, single mothers, getting a GED, learning a skill or
    trade, etc. That means they can apply for Food Stamps, citizen benefits
    including access to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Already many laws have
    been slyly crafted so pregnant illegal aliens and overstays, once their visa
    expired can apply for every citizen entitlement for their child-children, is
    the most expensive program costing hundreds of billions of dollars. THIS
    SUPPLEMENTS THE INCOME OF LOW INCOME FAMILIES, BY CONCEIVING AS MANY CHILDREN
    AS ACHIEVABLE.

    5. The most disgusting to comprehend about the gang of eight 2013 Senate bill:
    All the additional funding for border control can be waived by the next
    director of Homeland Security, the second he/she feels the border is secure
    enough. This bill does nothing to stop overstayed visas which are 40% of all
    illegal aliens today.

    6. They will not have to pay any back taxes or fines if they can’t prove their
    income falls below the poverty line.

    2014: Immigration Reform Without Compassion
    and Common Sense is Un-American –So Is Violating the Law.

    By Stephen Frank on 12/31/2013 for California News and Views.

    The Left has always seen criminals as
    romantic figures. The rich of New York held a fund raiser at the home of Leonard Bernstein
    for the Black Panthers. The elite of D.C. had little trouble with Che
    Guevara. Drug dealers and users are seen as victims of society and
    union goon are looked at as freedom fighters.

    Illegal aliens are criminals. They
    stole ID’s, use phony ID’s, and steal health care, education and jobs and keep
    demanding more and more. They lie on government forms and job
    applications. All of this would put us in jail—the Left prefers giving s
    a reward, citizenship, for criminal activity. They you have parents
    abandoning their children—and instead of demanding the parents take the
    children back to their native land, the Left wants the criminals to be rewarded
    with staying in this country AND have their children with them. So much so, that the Obama Administration
    has been caught using the Border Patrol to smuggle criminals. Why
    should Americans obey the laws, when government protects law breakers from
    other nations?

    • Justice Man

      We need immigration reform now. You can say whatever you want but it is truth.

      • Steven Kritzer

        Reform? Yes, we need to reduce the immigration intake (legal and illegal) to under 250k per year. We don’t create the jobs, nor the housing to support last century’s immigration policy.

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