A three-page analysis from Jeff Sessions’s office. The good news is, at least ICE is prioritizing correctly. Illegals who’ve committed serious criminal offenses are the first out the door, followed by people caught at the border trying to sneak in and those caught inside the U.S. after having been deported before. The other 99.92 percent who are already here are, however, apparently here to stay, unless/until a Republican president sends down the order to restart deportations among that group. And given the GOP leadership’s icy panic about further alienating Latino voters, the odds of that are near zero.
Remember this the next time amnesty shills like Luis Gutierrez screech that Obama is the “deporter-in-chief.”
Since two-thirds of [the 368,000] removals [last year] were not interior deportations but border apprehensions, let’s focus on the 133,000 removals that are more commonly understood as deportations. Of the 133,000 interior removals in FY13, ICE reports 82%, or 110,000, were convicted criminals (see breakdown here). ICE further reports that 80,000 of the 110,000 were convicted of a felony (including 53,000 convicted of one or more aggravated felonies). The remaining 30,000 were convicted of a crime less than a felony but in most cases, according to ICE, had also either absconded or re-entered the country illegally after being deported (a felony). Altogether, 60% of all convicted criminals removed by ICE had either been previously deported and returned to this country whereupon they committed a crime, or had been released after being apprehended by immigration authorities and fled, becoming a fugitive.
So, we are left with roughly 23,000 interior removals which, according to ICE, don’t have a known criminal conviction in the U.S. on their record. Of those 23,000, ICE reports that 13,000 are either fugitives or habitual offenders/previous deportees. That leaves only 10,000 removals out of 368,000 removals — or just 2% —who were seemingly removed/returned for immigration crimes without additional serious offenses such as being felons or fugitives. However, according to the National ICE Council, many of these were security red flags for other reasons (for instance, they had been in and out of jail for serious offenses without a conviction) and the field office was able to overcome “prosecutorial discretion” to secure a removal.
As previously established, of the 12 million current illegal immigrants and visa overstays, approximately 0.2% were removed who did not have a criminal conviction and approximately 0.08% were removed who were not habitual offenders/previous deportees or convicted criminals.
Less than two weeks ago, under heavy pressure from immigration activists, Obama ordered a review of ICE’s deportation policies to make them more “humane.” Maybe, as Sessions suspects, that means dropping even those cases involving immigration fugitives and people who’d been deported previously, which would reduce the number of deportations of non-criminal illegals to near zero. Or maybe O will go the whole nine yards and follow the Chuck Schumer plan, which would spare illegals from deportation if they would qualify for legal status under the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill. We may yet reach the point of executive power grabs, in other words, where not only isn’t Obama enforcing laws that Congress has passed, he’s enforcing laws that haven’t passed. And if you’re trying to find comfort in the fact that O has said repeatedly that he doesn’t have the authority to stretch immigration laws any further towards formal amnesty, remember: When it comes to executive overreach, he says a lot of things he doesn’t mean.
By the way, House Democrats are bringing a discharge petition to the floor today to try to force a vote on immigration reform. Remind me again why Republicans are opposed to it. If a de facto amnesty is already in effect and it’s certain that a Republican president won’t undo Obama’s actions for fear of a political backlash, what exactly is the reason to keep fighting formal legalization? The fix is in.