Immigration enforcement: Arrests way up but deportations down

President Trump's promise to deport millions of criminal illegal aliens is proving harder to make good on than many thought. While arresting illegals is up 45% since January, the overburdened immigration court sytsem is lagging in deporting them.

Associated Press:

In January, the United States deported 9,913 criminals. After a slight uptick under Trump, expulsions sank to 9,600 criminals in June, according to statistics requested by The Washington Post.

Mostly, deportations under the Trump administration have remained lower than in past years under the Obama administration. In the first six months of the year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 61,370 immigrants with criminal records, down from 70,603 in the same period last year.

Advocates on both sides of the immigration debate said they think that the Trump administration's effort is still gathering steam and that ICE plans to expand deportations in the months ahead. Immigration arrests rose to 13,945 in June, 45 percent above January's total.

"Deportations under Obama collapsed in the last few years, and turning that around isn't just a question of snapping your fingers," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors stricter controls on immigration. "Six months from now, we might see something very different."

During the election campaign, Trump vowed to target criminals for deportation and warned that they would be "going out fast." Later, he suggested he would try to find a solution for the "terrific people," such as those with clean records, but that has not materialized.

While people with criminal records account for three-fourths of the 75,000 immigration arrests this year, the fastest-growing target under Trump are immigrants without criminal records.

About 19,700 immigrants with no criminal records were arrested in the first half of the year, more than double the number in the same period last year. ICE has said that anyone in the United States illegally is subject to deportation, unlike under President Obama, who had said immigrants with long-standing ties to the United States and clean records were not a priority for deportation.

John Sandweg, an acting director of ICE under Obama, said the Trump administration's approach is likely sabotaging the president's attempts to deport criminals by funneling more noncriminal cases into the clogged immigration courts, where some 600,000 cases are pending.

"By focusing on noncriminal cases, you're burning resources that would otherwise be dedicated to criminals," he said. "There are only so many seats on the bus."

To be sure, efforts are underway to solve the backlog of more than 600,000 immigration cases. AG Sessions has transferred some immigration judges to courts where the backlog is the worst, and plans are in the works to hire more than 100 additional judges.

But with 60% of illegals failing to show up for their court date, there is a vast difference between the number of deportation orders issued and illegals who are actually sent home. At least the Trump administration is trying to enforce those orders. The Obama administration constantly bragged about how many illegals they had ordered deported but they failed to follow up and actually put the illegals on a bus home.

This is a problem that did not suddenly appear. It took decades for our immigration system to get into this mess and it will be many years before determined presidents and congresses are able to solve it. But every great project has to begin somewhere and, at the moment, the resolve of the government to deal with the problem of illegal immigration is the best that can be done.

 

President Trump's promise to deport millions of criminal illegal aliens is proving harder to make good on than many thought. While arresting illegals is up 45% since January, the overburdened immigration court sytsem is lagging in deporting them.

Associated Press:

In January, the United States deported 9,913 criminals. After a slight uptick under Trump, expulsions sank to 9,600 criminals in June, according to statistics requested by The Washington Post.

Mostly, deportations under the Trump administration have remained lower than in past years under the Obama administration. In the first six months of the year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 61,370 immigrants with criminal records, down from 70,603 in the same period last year.

Advocates on both sides of the immigration debate said they think that the Trump administration's effort is still gathering steam and that ICE plans to expand deportations in the months ahead. Immigration arrests rose to 13,945 in June, 45 percent above January's total.

"Deportations under Obama collapsed in the last few years, and turning that around isn't just a question of snapping your fingers," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors stricter controls on immigration. "Six months from now, we might see something very different."

During the election campaign, Trump vowed to target criminals for deportation and warned that they would be "going out fast." Later, he suggested he would try to find a solution for the "terrific people," such as those with clean records, but that has not materialized.

While people with criminal records account for three-fourths of the 75,000 immigration arrests this year, the fastest-growing target under Trump are immigrants without criminal records.

About 19,700 immigrants with no criminal records were arrested in the first half of the year, more than double the number in the same period last year. ICE has said that anyone in the United States illegally is subject to deportation, unlike under President Obama, who had said immigrants with long-standing ties to the United States and clean records were not a priority for deportation.

John Sandweg, an acting director of ICE under Obama, said the Trump administration's approach is likely sabotaging the president's attempts to deport criminals by funneling more noncriminal cases into the clogged immigration courts, where some 600,000 cases are pending.

"By focusing on noncriminal cases, you're burning resources that would otherwise be dedicated to criminals," he said. "There are only so many seats on the bus."

To be sure, efforts are underway to solve the backlog of more than 600,000 immigration cases. AG Sessions has transferred some immigration judges to courts where the backlog is the worst, and plans are in the works to hire more than 100 additional judges.

But with 60% of illegals failing to show up for their court date, there is a vast difference between the number of deportation orders issued and illegals who are actually sent home. At least the Trump administration is trying to enforce those orders. The Obama administration constantly bragged about how many illegals they had ordered deported but they failed to follow up and actually put the illegals on a bus home.

This is a problem that did not suddenly appear. It took decades for our immigration system to get into this mess and it will be many years before determined presidents and congresses are able to solve it. But every great project has to begin somewhere and, at the moment, the resolve of the government to deal with the problem of illegal immigration is the best that can be done.

 

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