Politics

ICE Isn't Apprehending Criminal Aliens, Report Says, and Obama Admin is To Blame

| by Allison Geller

A new Center for Immigration Studies report indicates that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is apprehending far fewer immigrants than widely publicized estimates claim. In fact, the ICE filed immigration charges against a small number of illegal or criminal immigrants that it encountered and claimed numbers that actually belong to Border Control.

The Daily Caller reports that according to the a Center for Immigration studies review of ICE data, ICE filed immigration charges against less than 195,000 aliens of the 722,000 that it encountered — and released 68,000 criminal aliens last year.

The lack of charges, it says, is due to the Obama Administration’s restrictions on enforcement.

“According to ICE personnel, the vast gap between the number of encounters reported and the number of aliens put on the path to removal exists because officers are not permitted to file charges against aliens who do not fall into the administration’s narrowly defined criteria for enforcement, regardless of the criminal charges or the circumstances in which the alien was identified,” the report, authored by CIS director of policy studies Jessica Vaughan, reads.

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ICE arrests have gone down by 40 percent since the administration introduced “prosecutorial discretion” in June 2011, the report goes on to state.

“The Obama administration and anti-enforcement activist groups have tried to portray the number of departures as ‘record-breaking’ and indicative of robust immigration enforcement,” the report reads. "They have tried to support this claim by showing that the number of departures credited to ICE is higher than ever before."

Border Patrol, and not ICE, is responsible for the bulk of the numbers, according to the repot.

“However, an independent analysis of ICE records obtained in a lawsuit showed that ICE was able to achieve these ‘record’ departures only because the agency was taking credit for removing a large number of individuals who were apprehended by the Border Patrol. Such cases made up the majority of ICE’s reported deportations in 2013, but they had never been counted that way in previous administrations.”

Vaughan concludes by asking the Obama administration to tighten up on prosecutorial discretion.

“The Obama administration’s deliberate obstruction of immigration enforcement, in which tens of thousands of criminal aliens are released instead of removed, is threatening the well-being of American communities,” she writes.

Sources: Daily Caller