As the Obama Administration searches for options to broaden its executive amnesty, a new analysis by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., reveals that only two percent of removals in 2013 did not meet DHS’ criminal-oriented enforcement “priorities.” He says DHS policies leave illegal aliens virtually immune from immigration enforcement unless they commit a serious crime and invite foreign nationals to overstay a visa or enter the U.S. illegally,
Sen. Sessions today released “DHS Enforcement Data Reveals Administrative Amnesty Much Broader Than Previously Understood,” excerpts from which are included below.
“(A) review of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) published enforcement statistics for 2013 reveals a shocking truth: DHS has blocked the enforcement of immigration law for the overwhelming majority of violations—and is planning to widen that amnesty even further.
“According to ICE’s published report on 2013 removals, 98% of all removals met one of the agency’s “enforcement priorities”: individuals who have been convicted of a serious criminal offense; those apprehended in the act of crossing the border; those who have been previously deported; and fugitives from the law. Remarkably, the first two categories—border apprehensions (which are not deportations as commonly understood) and convicted criminals—account for 94% of the 368,000 removals (235,000 and 110,000, respectively).
“Less than 0.2% of the approximately 12 million illegal immigrants and visa overstays in the U.S. were placed into removal proceedings who did not have serious criminal convictions on their record; only about .08% of the approximately 12 million were placed into removal proceedings who were neither convicted of a serious crime nor a repeat immigration violator.
“Those who do not facially meet the Administration’s select “priorities” are free to illegally work in the United States and to receive taxpayer benefits, regardless of whether or not they come into contact with immigration enforcement.
“The Administration’s priorities have…provided an executive amnesty not only to the great majority of the 12 million living here illegally today (including even the most recent arrivals) but to those who will violate immigration law tomorrow. It is an open invitation for a future immigrant to overstay a visa, or to enter the U.S. illegally, knowing that they will be immune from enforcement as long as they avoid being convicted of a felony or other serious crime once here.
“This free pass from immigration law even applies to those with criminal records that do not rise to the level of an agency “priority.” ICE officers are routinely forced to release those with criminal records who are considered eligible for “prosecutorial discretion,” based on the deemed seriousness of the criminal offense…And since ICE officers are frequently barred from issuing detainers (to prevent release on the underlying charge) until criminal suspects are actually convicted, many high-risk offenders are released on bond and flee from authorities before the trial ever takes place.
“But the Los Angeles Times reports that with the new “enforcement review,” the Administration is considering going even further and erasing most of the now statistically-rare 13,000 interior removals categorized as either immigration fugitives or habitual violators/previous deportees (which are still, of course, serious offenses)…In other words: DHS is considering exempting even some of the most habitual immigration violators and fugitives, offering near enforcement immunity to any illegal immigrant who does not commit a felony or other grave offense.
"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. Yet now, per the LA Times, those instances may be further reduced towards 0%—which would represent a nearly complete prohibition against everyday immigration enforcement and would erase the core distinction between legal and illegal immigration.
“The Administration’s actions are breathtaking and without precedent. American citizens have both a legal and moral right to the protection our immigration laws afford; those rights have been systematically ignored, resulting in a massive loss of income and wages for the most vulnerable Americans.”
Read Sen. Sessions’ analysis.