More than 925,000 illegal immigrants with final orders of removal remain in the United States, most living in communities and towns across the country in defiance of their deportation orders, according to a new report released Friday — the one-year anniversary of the murder of Kathryn Steinle.
Department of Homeland Security information provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained by Center for Immigration Studies director of policy Jessica Vaughan reveals that as of July 4, 2015 there were 925,193 illegal immigrants with final orders of deportation in the U.S., nearly 20 percent (or 179,040) of whom have at least one criminal conviction.
More than 913,820 (or nearly 99 percent) of the illegal immigrants who remain in the U.S., despite final orders of removal are not detained, instead living freely in U.S. Of those non-detained illegal immigrants, 172,135 have at least one criminal conviction to their name.
In other words, of the illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a crime and have been ordered removed, 96 percent are at large in neighborhoods across the nation.
As Vaughan highlights, about 60 percent of the illegal immigrants still in the U.S., in defiance of deportation orders, come from just four countries: Mexico (187,384), El Salvador (159,509), Honduras (120,118) and Guatemala (99,201).
Mexico is also the top country of origin for non-departed criminal aliens with final orders of removal (67,792). Interestingly, Cuba boasts the second highest number (27,845) of non-departed criminal aliens with final orders of removal. As Vaughan notes, Cubans represent a “disproportionate number” of the illegal immigrants with criminal records who remain despite final orders. El Salvador (10,701) and Honduras (9,144) come in third and fourth, respectively, in this category.
Of particular concern is the fact that — despite the Obama Administration’s claim that it’s enforcement “priorities” are intended to focus on criminal aliens — the population of criminal aliens with final orders of deportation who are still at large in the U.S. has grown nearly 20 percent from 143,582 in 2012 to 172,135 in 2015, according to Vaughan’s analysis.
“Considering that federal data indicates a recidivism rate of somewhere between 30 and 70 percent, the federal government’s failure to deport these aliens should be of some concern to law enforcement agencies and the public,” Vaughan wrote in her analysis.
As the CIS expert detailed, there are three primary reasons such a seemingly high number of illegal immigrants — including criminals — remain in the U.S. despite deportation orders. Those reasons include: home countries that will not take back their citizens, aliens fleeing, and sanctuary policies that shield illegal immigrants from federal officials.
It is no accident that Vaughan’s spotlight on illegal immigrants and sanctuary cities was released Friday, as it marks the one-year anniversary of the murder of 32-year-old Steinle.
Steinle was shot on July 1, 2015 by an illegal immigrant from Mexico with a long felony rap sheet who had been deported at least five times. While Steinle’s alleged killer had been in police custody months earlier, San Francisco’s sanctuary policy of not cooperating with immigration officials resulted in his release.
Steinle’s murder at San Francisco’s Pier 14, a popular tourist attraction, sparked a national outcry over sanctuary cities and criminal aliens. Next week the Senate is posed to vote on yet another bill that would defund sanctuary jurisdictions that prohibit local officers from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.