Allen B. West

ICE releases more illegal and criminal aliens than it tries to remove

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We’ve been led to believe President Obama has been tough on illegal immigration. Supposedly under Obama, more people have been deported than under Bush. However, peel the onion back a few layers, and you find out those turned back at the border are counted as a deportation.

But a recent report is even more damning for President Obama and his handling of this critical issue. According to the Washington Times, Immigration agents tried to deport only about a fourth of the cases they encountered in 2013. A report from the Center for Immigration Studies shows just how much President Obama’s policies have cut down on potential enforcement.

Jessica Vaughan, the report’s author, called it a form of “catch and release.” She said agents at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement received more than 720,000 hits on immigrants who could be eligible for deportation but filed charges against fewer than 195,000 of them. Of those let go, 68,000 had criminal convictions on their records. All told, more than 870,000 immigrants have been ordered removed from the U.S. but are defying the government and refusing to leave. “These numbers confirm that interior enforcement has been anything but tough — in fact, ICE is releasing more illegal aliens and more criminal aliens than they’re trying to remove,” said Ms. Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates a crackdown on immigration.

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All of this is coming as President Obama is being confronted by leftist hispanic groups such as La Raza to reduce deportations. In meetings with immigrant rights activists this month, Mr. Obama promised to devise more “humane” policies that would carve even more illegal immigrants out of deportation rules. Two years ago, the president announced a policy granting tentative legal status to more than 500,000 young adult illegal immigrants. The Homeland Security Department also has issued several policy memos pushing most other illegal immigrants down the list of deportation priorities.

Overall, deportations dropped by about 10 percent in 2013 to just under 370,000, and they’re on pace for another 10 percent drop this year, to about 325,000.

At a time when our economy is struggling and millions of Americans are unemployed, underemployed, or not even counted in the workforce, we should be doing everything to get these Americans back to work. The phased solution has to be first, to secure our porous border. Then we need to cease taxpayer-funded benefits to those here in America illegally. Following that we must institute the right fiscal policies that get the economy moving, and not just at an anemic two percent GDP growth. There should be key economic indicators, such as median wages and the workforce participation rate along with other measures of effectiveness to provide evidence that our economy is turning the corner.

Concurrently we can begin developing a “guest worker” program. We don’t need any new laws relating to illegal immigration, we just need to enforce the laws we have. Furthermore, we need to streamline the legal immigration process. We also must examine the student visa program and as we reported, get a hold on those who have overstayed those visas.

We don’t need another “comprehensive” piece of legislation, a 2,000-page document that no one will have read — and actually provides more loopholes for federal government to institute. Even more so, we do not need special interest groups subverting our rule of law and our national sovereignty. I know folks are going to tell me that according to the CBO, granting amnesty will mean more tax revenue – yep, and I came from the land of bubble gum and lollipops. It will only mean more Americans out of work, reduced wages, and an expansion of the welfare state – which means more government spending.

The current level of illegal immigration in America is unsustainable.

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