Rep. Luis Gutierrez keeps the low information voters misinformed

I seriously wonder if Mr. Gutierrez knows he is not telling the truth and merely is saying what he hopes is true.  Either way, the truth becomes victim, once again.  Journalists where art thou?

“President Obama, in the last 5 years has deported more people than any other President in the history of the United States.” Luis Gutierrez on George Stephanopoulos’ Sunday show.

Not so, Luis, but you got it out there on the Sunday shows, uncontested by George and unsupported by the facts.

Here are the facts.

…in June 2011, (John Morton, then-director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ) ordered ICE agents not to arrest certain broad categories of illegal aliens, including minor criminals, long-time residents, students, parents, caregivers, and a long list of other excepted categories for whom there was otherwise no statutory basis for special treatment.

·  The number of deportations resulting from interior enforcement by ICE declined by 19 percent from 2011 to 2012, and is on track to decline another 22 percent in 2013.

·  In 2012, the year the Obama administration claimed to break enforcement records, more than one-half of removals attributed to ICE were the result of Border Patrol arrests that would never have been counted as a removal in prior years. In 2008, under the Bush administration, only one-third of removals were from Border Patrol arrests.

·  Total deportations in 2011, the latest year for which complete numbers are available, numbered 715,495 – the lowest level since 1973. The highest number of deportations on record was in 2000, under the Clinton administration, when 1,864,343 aliens were deported.

·  When claiming record levels of enforcement, the Obama administration appears to count only removals, which are just one form of deportation, and only a partial measure of enforcement. Beginning in 2011, a shift of some of the routine Border Patrol case load to ICE enabled the administration to count an artificially high number of removals.

·  Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the division of ICE that is responsible for work site enforcement, combating transnational gangs, overstay enforcement, anti-smuggling and trafficking activity, and busting document and identity theft rings, now contributes very little to immigration enforcement. In 2013 HSI has produced only four percent of ICE deportations, making just a few thousand arrests per year throughout the entire country.

·  ICE is doing less enforcement with more resources. Despite reporting more encounters in 2013 than 2012, ICE agents pursued deportation of 20 percent fewer aliens this year than last.

·  Enforcement activity declined in every ICE field office from 2011 to 2013, with the biggest declines in the Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Washington DC/Virginia, and Houston field offices.

·  Criminal alien arrests declined by 11 percent from 2012 to 2013, despite the completion of the Secure Communities program, which generates more referrals of arrested aliens than ever before. ICE agents took a pass on hundreds of thousands of aliens who were arrested by local authorities in those years.

·  ICE is carrying a case load of 1.8 million aliens who are either in removal proceedings or have already been ordered removed. Less than two percent are in detention, which is the only proven way to ensure departure.

·  As of the end of July 2013 there were 872,000 aliens – nearly half of ICE’s total docket – who had been ordered removed but who had not left the country.

·  The State Department continues to issue tens of thousands of visas annually to citizens of countries that refuse to take back their countrymen who are ordered removed from the United States. Many of these are violent criminals.

Deportation totals have fluctuated over the last 30 years, peaking in 1986, 2000, and 2004. The all-time record year was 2000, the last year of the Clinton administration. In 2011, the most recent year for which all ICE and CBP totals have been reported, deportations numbered 715,495. This was the lowest year since 1973, when 585,351 deportations were effected.

To support the claim of “record” deportations in 2012, the Obama administration and its supporters cite the 409,000 deportations attributed to ICE that year. This is the highest number of removals credited to ICE in a single year; however, the number is higher because it includes the largest number of Border Patrol cases that ever have been transferred to ICE for processing in a single year (see Table 3). It does not reflect an increase in enforcement activity. In past years, these cases would have been handled by the Border Patrol, and counted in total deportations, but not as removals. Removals are at best half the number of total deportations, and do not represent the entire scope of enforcement actions taken by DHS enforcement agencies.

The President himself confirmed this statistical manipulation in 2011, speaking at a roundtable for Hispanic reporters:

“The statistics are actually a little deceptive because what we’ve been doing is, with the stronger border enforcement, we’ve been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation, even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours, sent back — that’s counted as a deportation.” he said.2

The group that should be of greatest concern for policy makers is the enormous number of non-detained, post-final-order cases. These are aliens who have been accorded due process, exhausted appeals, and received a final order of removal, but who remain here in defiance of that order. As of the end of July 2013, there were 872,000 individuals on ICE’s docket in this category. A relatively small share cannot be removed, either because their home country won’t take them back, or because the government there is insufficiently organized to issue travel documents (see below). The vast majority of the 872,000 have simply absconded, skipped out on hearings, and continue to live here as illegal aliens. This number grew by more than 15,000 from 2012 to 2013.

In summary, the Obama administration is playing a little game of counting now what was not counted before. The President admits the “confusion”. Gutierrez promotes the confusion to his own use.  Interior surveillance and arrests have dropped.  Turning those away at the border are now counted as deportations when in fact they never resided here.

Hundreds of thousands are in the legal pipeline, delayed and unconfined.  Many have vanished and the system has lost track of them.

So Representative Gutierrez, let us lay all the cards on the table.  And tell some truth.

I seriously wonder if Mr. Gutierrez knows he is not telling the truth and merely is saying what he hopes is true.  Either way, the truth becomes victim, once again.  Journalists where art thou?

“President Obama, in the last 5 years has deported more people than any other President in the history of the United States.” Luis Gutierrez on George Stephanopoulos’ Sunday show.

Not so, Luis, but you got it out there on the Sunday shows, uncontested by George and unsupported by the facts.

Here are the facts.

…in June 2011, (John Morton, then-director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ) ordered ICE agents not to arrest certain broad categories of illegal aliens, including minor criminals, long-time residents, students, parents, caregivers, and a long list of other excepted categories for whom there was otherwise no statutory basis for special treatment.

·  The number of deportations resulting from interior enforcement by ICE declined by 19 percent from 2011 to 2012, and is on track to decline another 22 percent in 2013.

·  In 2012, the year the Obama administration claimed to break enforcement records, more than one-half of removals attributed to ICE were the result of Border Patrol arrests that would never have been counted as a removal in prior years. In 2008, under the Bush administration, only one-third of removals were from Border Patrol arrests.

·  Total deportations in 2011, the latest year for which complete numbers are available, numbered 715,495 – the lowest level since 1973. The highest number of deportations on record was in 2000, under the Clinton administration, when 1,864,343 aliens were deported.

·  When claiming record levels of enforcement, the Obama administration appears to count only removals, which are just one form of deportation, and only a partial measure of enforcement. Beginning in 2011, a shift of some of the routine Border Patrol case load to ICE enabled the administration to count an artificially high number of removals.

·  Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the division of ICE that is responsible for work site enforcement, combating transnational gangs, overstay enforcement, anti-smuggling and trafficking activity, and busting document and identity theft rings, now contributes very little to immigration enforcement. In 2013 HSI has produced only four percent of ICE deportations, making just a few thousand arrests per year throughout the entire country.

·  ICE is doing less enforcement with more resources. Despite reporting more encounters in 2013 than 2012, ICE agents pursued deportation of 20 percent fewer aliens this year than last.

·  Enforcement activity declined in every ICE field office from 2011 to 2013, with the biggest declines in the Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Washington DC/Virginia, and Houston field offices.

·  Criminal alien arrests declined by 11 percent from 2012 to 2013, despite the completion of the Secure Communities program, which generates more referrals of arrested aliens than ever before. ICE agents took a pass on hundreds of thousands of aliens who were arrested by local authorities in those years.

·  ICE is carrying a case load of 1.8 million aliens who are either in removal proceedings or have already been ordered removed. Less than two percent are in detention, which is the only proven way to ensure departure.

·  As of the end of July 2013 there were 872,000 aliens – nearly half of ICE’s total docket – who had been ordered removed but who had not left the country.

·  The State Department continues to issue tens of thousands of visas annually to citizens of countries that refuse to take back their countrymen who are ordered removed from the United States. Many of these are violent criminals.

Deportation totals have fluctuated over the last 30 years, peaking in 1986, 2000, and 2004. The all-time record year was 2000, the last year of the Clinton administration. In 2011, the most recent year for which all ICE and CBP totals have been reported, deportations numbered 715,495. This was the lowest year since 1973, when 585,351 deportations were effected.

To support the claim of “record” deportations in 2012, the Obama administration and its supporters cite the 409,000 deportations attributed to ICE that year. This is the highest number of removals credited to ICE in a single year; however, the number is higher because it includes the largest number of Border Patrol cases that ever have been transferred to ICE for processing in a single year (see Table 3). It does not reflect an increase in enforcement activity. In past years, these cases would have been handled by the Border Patrol, and counted in total deportations, but not as removals. Removals are at best half the number of total deportations, and do not represent the entire scope of enforcement actions taken by DHS enforcement agencies.

The President himself confirmed this statistical manipulation in 2011, speaking at a roundtable for Hispanic reporters:

“The statistics are actually a little deceptive because what we’ve been doing is, with the stronger border enforcement, we’ve been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation, even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours, sent back — that’s counted as a deportation.” he said.2

The group that should be of greatest concern for policy makers is the enormous number of non-detained, post-final-order cases. These are aliens who have been accorded due process, exhausted appeals, and received a final order of removal, but who remain here in defiance of that order. As of the end of July 2013, there were 872,000 individuals on ICE’s docket in this category. A relatively small share cannot be removed, either because their home country won’t take them back, or because the government there is insufficiently organized to issue travel documents (see below). The vast majority of the 872,000 have simply absconded, skipped out on hearings, and continue to live here as illegal aliens. This number grew by more than 15,000 from 2012 to 2013.

In summary, the Obama administration is playing a little game of counting now what was not counted before. The President admits the “confusion”. Gutierrez promotes the confusion to his own use.  Interior surveillance and arrests have dropped.  Turning those away at the border are now counted as deportations when in fact they never resided here.

Hundreds of thousands are in the legal pipeline, delayed and unconfined.  Many have vanished and the system has lost track of them.

So Representative Gutierrez, let us lay all the cards on the table.  And tell some truth.