FAIR: DHS Misleads Public with Partial Truth of Increased Enforcement
Criminal Alien Removals Up/Non-Criminal Alien Removals Down/Overall Removals Flat
(October 7, 2010 - Washington, D.C.) - Yesterday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano released the FY 2010 immigration deportation numbers claiming that "it’s been another record-breaking year of record criminal alien removals." Yet, Secretary Napolitano neglects to mention that while deportation of criminal aliens has risen, the total removals are roughly the same, and the number of non-criminal aliens removed has dropped substantially.
Responding to the new report, Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR,) noted, "It is nice to hear that Secretary Janet Napolitano believes that the removal of people in the country illegally especially those who have committed violent crimes — is an important function for DHS. However, policy directives from the highest levels of DHS clearly demonstrate that the administration is refusing to enforce laws against noncriminal aliens."
Removing violent and criminal aliens from American society must obviously be DHS’s highest immigration enforcement priority. However, while DHS has acted to remove criminal aliens already in custody, they have adopted policies to assure all non-criminal aliens in the country face no threat of removal
"Secretary Napolitano is giving herself and DHS a big pat on the back for stepping up enforcement without mentioning that the department is merely completing cases initiated under the previous administration, under policies that she and President Obama have aggressively dismantled since taking office," observed Stein. Some 58,000 fewer noncriminal aliens were deported in FY 2010 over the previous year.
DHS data show that the current administration has dramatically curtailed all aspects of immigration enforcement against illegal aliens who have not committed violent crimes in this country. In the critical area of worksite enforcement, administrative arrests have fallen by 77 percent, criminal arrests are down 60 percent, indictments are down 64 percent, and convictions have fallen by 68 percent since 2008.
"Once the pipeline opened under the Bush administration has been emptied, removal of illegal aliens who are not violent criminals will be reduced to a trickle," Stein said. "Resources appropriated by Congress intended to carry out worksite and other enforcement in the interior of the country are being used for meaningless paperwork audits, rather than serious enforcement against employers and the removal of illegal aliens from jobs that are desperately needed by American workers.
"It appears that the release of the FY 2010 data, and Secretary Napolitano’s media tour, have more to do with addressing what the administration perceives as a political weakness heading into the midterm elections, than a sincere effort to deter and combat illegal immigration," said Stein. "The goal is to convince the American people that immigration enforcement is being dealt with so that the administration can move on to its real policy objective: massive amnesty for every illegal alien who is not a violent felon.
"Getting criminal aliens out of the country is important. But the American people also believe that it is important to enforce laws against other illegal aliens who are filling millions of needed jobs and consuming billions in public resources. The administration is defiantly neglecting those responsibilities, while misleading the public by taking credit for the results of policies they are now dismantling," Stein concluded.