Nearly a million aliens with final orders of removal remain in the U.S., about 20 percent of whom have been convicted of a crime, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Detailed in DHS responses to questions posed by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, as of September 918,369 non-detained aliens with final orders of deportation remained in the U.S.
Of those 918,369 aliens with final orders of removal, 179,027 have criminal convictions and remain at large in the U.S.
“It is important to realize that 180K figure includes only the aliens convicted of a crime and ordered deported who remain in defiance of said order – it is not an estimate of total aliens who have committed crimes who are present in the U.S. or total aliens convicted of crimes who are present in the U.S., which would necessarily be a vastly larger figure,” a committee aide noted in an email.
Indeed, DHS was unable to report to the committee on how many aliens in the U.S. have ever been arrested for a criminal offense or how many have ever been convicted of a crime.
DHS noted that Immigration and Customs Enforcement currently has 11,315 aliens with removal orders in custody.
“Keep in mind also that the removal of a convicted criminal alien means the government has already acted too late: immigration laws are supposed to protect Americans by keeping dangerous aliens out of the U.S. – not allowing them to remain in the U.S. up until and past the point they have committed a crime against an American,” the aide added.
The revelation that 179,027 criminal aliens with deportation orders remain in the U.S. comes as sanctuary cities — or jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities — are under fire in light of recent murders committed by released criminal aliens.
According to DHS from Fiscal Year 2009 through August 1, 2015, ICE issued 1,574,743 detainers, or requests for local law enforcement to hold criminal aliens. ICE did not track detainer compliance prior to January 2014 however, DHS noted that “between January 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, 16,495 detainers issued had not been honored.”
ICE estimates that ago 340 jurisdictions have declined to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.