The days of Pres. Obama being called the "Deporter-in-Chief" are long over. Overall removals are way down and removals of illegal aliens from the interior by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agents are down 70% from the early years of the Administration.
Why such a decline?
A Senate panel heard the answer Thursday from Thomas Homan, Executive Associate Director for ICE's Enforcement And Removal Operations. He said the decline is a result of both the Administration's executive actions issued in 2012 and 2014 and the existence of sanctuary jurisdictions.
"There are a number of reasons why the numbers are down," Homan said and listed them.
- "Sanctuary cities"
- "Jurisdictions not honoring my detainers"
- "The Trust Act [2013 California law limiting holds on illegal aliens]"
- "In 2012, John Morton, the Assistant Secretary of ICE, issued a policy in who we issue detainers on. Virtually took Level 3s off the table. This is a law-abiding society, so most crimes are Level 3."
- " Executive actions. Executive actions have narrowed my target pool down."
EXECUTIVE ACTIONS RESPONSBILE
Then, there was this exchange between Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Homan.
SESSIONS: Isn't it true that ICE gets calls every single day from police officers all across America that are not Sanctuary Cities and you're not responding to them because they don't meet the guidelines or the priorities established by the President?
HOMAN: That is true.
SESSIONS: So it's not true then that the reason your numbers are down is because you don't have people to deport. You have them to deport, but you have policies that tell you not to deport whole categories that are here unlawfully. Isn't that correct?
HOMAN: That's a factor, yes sir.
Homan made it a point to praise the men and women of ICE, and their commitment to the "mission". Of course, he's not allowed to comment on his opinion of Pres. Obama's policies, so we don't know where he, a career ICE agent stands, but morale among ICE agents is among the lowest of all federal employees, which would lead one to believe that the agents don't necessarily agree with the Administration's policies.
UNION CHIEF SAYS BORDER PATROL RELEASES ALMOST EVERYONE
Border Patrol Union President Brandon Judd also testified and shed further light on the Administration's policies, specifically its catch-and-release policies. According to Judd, the Border Patrol releases almost every illegal alien it comes into contact with -- even if the alien has a criminal history.
"The second part of the catch-and-release program is releasing people without NTAs [Notices to Appear]. This is actually the most disconcerting part. We can actually arrest somebody with an actual criminal arrest record here in the United States, and if it does not meet these priority guidelines, we have to walk them out the door if they've been here since, if they claim to have been here (his emphasis), since January of 2014, we have to walk them out our door. And we don't even issue them an NTA. In effect, we're saying stay in the country as long as you want."
Judd went on to say that anyone caught crossing the border illegally who is not from Mexico is released by the Border Patrol and that approximately 80% of Mexicans who are caught crossing the border illegally are released. Again, all of this is not a reflection on the men and women of the Border Patrol or of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It's all under the direction of the Obama Administration.
Civil Rights icon and Chair of the last bipartisan Commission on Immigration, Barbara Jordan, once told Congress, "Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."
The Obama Administration has sent a message to the world that unless you're convicted of a violent crime, you'll never be required to leave.
CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Director of Content & Activism for NumbersUSA
Updated: Mon, Jun 6th 2016 @ 12:25pm EDT