America’s Senator Jeff Sessions must have thought it was a good time to release more details about how poorly the government is doing its job of protecting the public from illegal alien criminals. The shrinking number of deportations is easy to grasp in the simple chart representing that last four years, plus the details behind the graph are included in an explanatory memo:
Chart: Deportations Plummet as ICE Receives More Resources, Senator Sessions Office, May 2, 2016
Background from the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest:
According to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, deportations of aliens from the United States have decreased precipitously under the Obama Administration – particularly of those aliens from the interior of the United States. In FY 2012, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed 409,849 aliens from the United States, with 180,970 coming from the interior of the United States. In FY 2015, ICE removed 235,413 aliens, with only 69,478 coming from the interior.
Put differently, ICE removed nearly 43 percent fewer total aliens from the United States in FY 2015 than it did in FY 2012 – and nearly 62 percent fewer aliens from the interior of the United States.
This dramatic decline in deportations is the direct result of policies implemented by the Obama Administration to get around plain law passed by Congress. Indeed, the guise was to assert that the Government lacked the resources to deport more aliens. The former Director of ICE, John Morton, issued a memorandum in March of 2011, in which he outlined ICE’s purported enforcement “priorities,” and claimed that setting such priorities was necessary because ICE “only has resources to remove approximately 400,000 aliens per year, less than 4 percent of the estimated illegal alien population in the United States.” The Administration has used this line repeatedly, even citing it in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. This statistic also appeared in a Memorandum Opinion written by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel in late 2014 in its attempt to justify the Administration’s latest policies – stating that “DHS has explained that although there are approximately 11.3 million undocumented aliens in the country, it has the resources to remove fewer than 400,000 such aliens each year.”
Notwithstanding the Administration’s claims of limited resources, ICE’s budget for detention and removal operations has grown substantially – from $2,750,843,000 in FY2012, to $3,431,444,000 in FY2015. Moreover, just last year, the Administration shifted $113 million away from ICE’s budget for detention and removal of aliens.
Thus, while ICE’s detention and removal budget grew approximately 25 percent from FY 2012 to FY 2015, the total number of aliens it deported from the United States decreased by nearly 43 percent.
Furthermore, ICE removed 235,390 criminal aliens from the United States in FY 2012, as compared with 139,368 in FY 2015 – meaning that it deported nearly 41 percent fewer criminal aliens last year with 25 percent more resources than it had in FY 2012.