Fully 98 percent of individuals deported from the United States in 2013 were either criminals, apprehended while illegally crossing the border, or had been previously deported, according to a new analysis from Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
The three-page document, labeled a “Critical Alert” by the senator’s office, found three executive actions by President Barack Obama providing amnesty to groups of illegal aliens meant that virtually no one who did not meet other criteria beyond simply being in the country illegal was deported.
“The evidence reveals that the Administration has carried out a dramatic nullification of federal law,” Sessions said in a statement to Breitbart News. “Under the guise of setting ‘priorities’, the Administration has determined that almost anyone in the world who can enter the United States is free to illegally live, work and claim benefits here as long as they are not caught committing a felony or other serious crime.
Obama’s well-known executive action granted virtual amnesty to so-called DREAMers – individuals who claim to have entered the country as minors under their parents’ guidance.
Two are lesser known executive actions include an Aug. 23, 2013, DHS directive “expanding that [summer 2012 executive DREAM Act] amnesty to illegal immigrant relatives of DREAM Act beneficiaries” and a Dec. 21, 2012, DHS directive “reinforcing that almost all immigration offenses were unenforceable absent a separate criminal conviction.”
In 2013, Sessions’ staff found, 98 percent of ICE’s removals of illegal aliens fit the agency’s “enforcement criteria.” There are four such criteria for illegal aliens to be considered deportation-worthy by ICE: a conviction of committing a serious criminal offense, an apprehension made while an individual is crossing the border, the resurfacing of someone previously deported, or someone having been a fugitive from the law. “Remarkably, the first two categories–border apprehensions (which are not deportations as commonly understood) and convicted criminals–account for 94% of the 368,000 removals (235,000 and 110,000, respectively),” Sessions’ staff wrote in the memo.
Only 0.2 percent of an estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. who were actually placed into removal proceedings in 2013 in 2013 did not have a violent or otherwise serious criminal conviction on their record. Only .08 percent of the total number of illegal aliens placed into removal proceedings were neither repeat or serial immigration law violators nor convicted of a serious crime. Even with that .08 percent of removals who were not caught crossing the border or being a serial immigration law violator or being convicted of serious crimes, Sessions’ staff notes that ICE officers who communicate with his office say that there is likely some other serious security risk for allowing them to stay in the country that is cause for their removal.
The findings stand in stark contrast to liberal calls on Obama to reduce deportations. Top Hispanic Democrats recently met with Obama at the White House recently about the issue, prompting an announcement about a review at the Department of Homeland Security about how to deport illegal aliens in a more “humane” fashion.
The report was enough to prompt a chorus of outrage from Sessions’ like-minded colleagues in the House, who slammed the Obama administration for enacting amnesty by fiat.
“This is another clear warning to anyone who thinks immigration reform is possible under President Obama,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-LA). “He has repeatedly shown a willingness to enforce the law selectively, while looking the other way when it doesn’t fit his agenda.”
“We can add immigration enforcement to the long list of areas where President Obama is selectively enforcing the law,” Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) told Breitbart News in response to Sessions’ new report. “This is part of a repeated pattern of overreach on the part of the Administration and shows their unwillingness to follow the law as it is written–not the law as they want it to be. It’s impossible for Congress to have an open and honest debate on border security when we can’t trust the President to do his job.”
“At least 99.92% of illegal immigrants and visa overstays without known crimes on their records did not face removal,” Sessions’ staff wrote. “Those who do not facially meet the Administration’s select ‘priorities’ are free to illegally work in the United States and to receive taxpayer benefits, regardless of whether or not they come into contact with immigration enforcement.”
Sessions’ staff cites August 2013 reports from an ICE raid at Danny’s Car Wash in Phoenix, Arizona, where many workers suspected of being in the country illegally were taken into custody but released shortly thereafter. “Workers suspected of being in the country illegally were taken into custody, but [ICE spokeswoman Amber] Cargile said they would be released within a matter of hours as long as they had no outstanding criminal records,” the Associated Press wrote then.
In another incident in Brownsville, Texas, a dozen illegal aliens were set free at a bus station after being taken into ICE custody because the federal immigration law agency said it “doesn’t consider the group a major threat to our safety.”
Sessions’ staff also cites a 2011 instance where authorities at ICE warned one of their officers he would be subject to disciplinary action if he followed through with his intent to enforce the law by issuing a Notice to Appear in court to an illegal alien “driving the vehicle of a known fugitive without a license.”
“The suspect, who had multiple misdemeanor offenses on his record, was released while the ICE officer was threatened with suspension,” Sessions’ staff wrote.
“The Obama administration’s subversion of the Constitution and the rule of law make enforcement of our immigration laws virtually impossible,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said in an email. “The law-abiding and taxpaying Americans who oppose this executive amnesty policy are paying the price with lower wages and fewer job opportunities.”
“At the same time President Obama hypocritically tells people he is for income equality, he violates federal immigration law, floods the labor market with wage-suppressing illegal aliens, and destroys the chance millions of hard-working Americans have of attaining self-sufficiency and the American dream,” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said. “It is clear that President Obama believes it is more important to pander to voters based on race than it is to enforce immigration laws that protect American workers’ ability to earn a living wage.”
Brooks and Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar said the findings raise grave questions of constitutional law.
“Perhaps the most important role of the President is defined in Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution, which states that the President ‘shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,'” Gosar said in reaction to Sessions’ new report. “From President Obama’s capricious ObamaCare delays to his arbitrary refusal to enforce current immigration laws, his transgressions against the Constitution are egregious and must stop. The first step in restoring the rule of law is holding Attorney General Eric Holder – our nation’s chief law enforcement officer – accountable for allowing and participating in the Administration’s blatant disregard for the Constitution.”
“The President should be ashamed of himself for violating his oath of office, violating his Constitutional duty to enforce America’s laws, and making illegal aliens a higher priority than the livelihoods of hard-working Americans,” Brooks said.