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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

ICE Reports Deportations Down in FY 2013

Rating: 7 votes, 5.00 average.
From Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

In FY2013, ICE conducted a total of 368,644 removals, 235,093 of whom were apprehended while, or shortly after, attempting to illegally enter the United States, and 133,551 of whom were apprehended in the interior of the United States. Nearly 60 percent of ICE’s total removals had been previously convicted of a criminal offense, and that number rises to 82 percent for individuals removed from the interior of the U.S. Other than convicted criminals, the agency’s enforcement priorities include: those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who returned to the U.S. after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives.

ICE had a rosy take on the numbers:

The FY2013 numbers make clear that we are enforcing our nation’s laws in a smart and effective way, meeting our enforcement priorities by focusing on convicted criminals while also continuing to secure our nation’s borders in partnership with CBP,” said Acting Director Sandweg. “Ninety eight percent of those removed in the last year met one of our key priorities – a record high and a testament to the men and women of ICE who are helping to implement a strong and focused immigration enforcement strategy.

Other organizations weren't buying it. Frank Sharry for America's Voice had strong words in reaction to the new figures:

It’s sickening that the Obama Administration is deporting more immigrants than any other Administration in history, especially when the vast majority of those being deported qualify for legal status and a chance to earn citizenship under legislation the Obama Administration supports. What the President and new DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson should do is stop deporting people who are eligible for immigration status under pending legislation and tell ICE to stop ripping hard working immigrants away from their families and jobs. At a time of year when families should be celebrating together, it’s heartbreaking that our government is setting records for separating families.

There is a huge gap between what they say and what they do. DHS announced prosecutorial discretion policies in 2011 aimed at focusing deportation on the ‘worst of the worst,’ and yet these policies have never been fully implemented. They claim that most of those being deported are ‘convicted criminals’ – a scary label until you realize that their own definitions of ‘convicted criminals’ include traffic violations and minor nuisance offenses (see here and here). They claim that the only answer is legislation – which really is the best and most permanent solution – but refuse to simultaneously use their substantial administrative authority to rein in the out-of-control detention and deportation machinery. The time is now for the Administration to do its part to stop deporting people who are anything but ‘criminals’ and have deep roots and make huge contributions to the country they now call home.

And Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum had this take:

It’s clear that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is working to focus its resources on deporting criminals. We are encouraged that a higher proportion of deportees had criminal convictions.

But ICE is still removing people with no criminal record who are just trying to build a life in America — including tens of thousands this past year. These numbers highlight the urgency for broad immigration reform from Congress that stresses accountability and moves our country forward. In 2014, leaders simply must follow through on a new immigration process that emphasizes security, freedom, opportunity and human dignity.

And Ruthie Epstein of the ACLU reminds us that a dubious milestone is about to be hit:

Despite broad consensus that the nation needs immigration reform, the Obama administration is barreling towards the dubious honor of hitting a record 2 million deportations by early next year. Today’s numbers show that ICE continues to sweep tens of thousands of immigrants into a detention and deportation machine that lacks basic due process protections, including the dignity of an appearance before a judge. The Department of Homeland Security should sharpen its enforcement priorities and strengthen due process protections for immigrants in removal proceedings.

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Updated 12-19-2013 at 09:56 PM by GSiskind

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  1. Jack2's Avatar
    Not one more! However little immigration law is enforced will always be too much for these whining, dishonest lobbyists whose support for CIR is obviously in bad faith--they have zero interest in the enforcement part. Does anyone buy that Frank Sharry really supports the enforcement parts of CIR when he is "sickened" by deportations? They all wish we had de jure unlimited immigration and even when we do not, they demand that the law be ignored for those "who are just trying to build a life in America", i.e., de facto unlimited immigration. Let practically everyone stay--now and forever--however many people that is. So why bother even having the law if it is just going to be a joke? It's ridiculous how these unlimited immigration radicals call anyone who is not open borders an "extremist" when the vast majority of Americans are not for unlimited immigration.
  2. MKolken's Avatar
    Great minds think alike Greg. My blog from today:
  3. Stardelamor's Avatar
    You are so worried they are doing nothing!They do enforce and they do deport no matter what the family member wants. The police even laughed when they arrested my husband and told me he would be released after i paid a fine, they said to wait and I did for 4 1/2 hours while they kept looking at me knowing darn well they weren't going to release him.Its a game to them. They make them criminals for doing what any family man would do get back to his family .I contacted everyone from the President to the Judge , Senators Congressman ,Pro immigrant groups and lots more.Whats so weird they all told me they had no power to do anything, most just ignored me. My husband crime was coming back here to take care of me and he would have come back this time but the President gave many of us false hope all the talk about personal discretion yada yada yada and I asked him to wait to see if we could do this the right way-he asked me several times said it was getting worse over there-If i would have brought him back illegally he would still be alive! I begged since 2010- well they deported him again in Dec 2012 to one of the most violent countries of the world and Saturday Dec 15, 2013 he was murdered and I am left trying to go on without him I am 55 years old and disabled. To you people he is just one more to me he was my life , my hope , my future. I cant close my eyes without seeing him, I cry all the time. But I don't matter either after all he was just a immigrant to you. He was the kindest , caring- the finest man I have ever know. He is not replaceable . I should have had more say in his deportation, he should have been allowed to stay here while processing his paperwork, to this day there has been no action on his paperwork.I had to barrow to get the money to pay the lawyer and forms. I have lost respect for our system when you make laws knowing they are not going to work to criminalize a otherwise normal person just lacking authorization setting them up to fail and making them felons is so wrong! So I well pay for it the rest of my life . The pain I feel is real it is devastating he should have been offered amnesty but they just wanted to deport. All his life he lived in fear And violence he lived in the streets from the time he was 9 his stepfather came close to killing him twice, his uncle electrocuted his legs for punishment and burned his skin to the bone, he saw a man decapitated right in front of him and so much more . He didn't deserve to be sent back to die I wrote ICE , John Morton and it seems no one has authority to do anything he was robbed his 1st or second month back in his country and I wrote them all again.Well none of this is important to anyone but me but if it did affect them they would have done something. I have nothing left but memories at least they can not destroy those but I hope they make a change so more like me don't have their lives taken away and spend the rest of their days suffering for the loss of their partner or child.
  4. khachlamat's Avatar
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