Statement by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) Regarding FY 2013 Deportation Data
(December 20, 2013 — Washington, D.C.) - The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), concerning the removal of illegal aliens during FY 2013:
“Thursday’s release of the FY 2013 ICE Immigration Removals report eliminates any pretense that the Obama administration is meaningfully enforcing laws against illegal immigration. The 2013 data — which show a 10 percent drop in removals — reveal that administration claims that they have been, and are continuing to deport illegal aliens at record levels, are blatantly false.
“The 10 percent decrease in overall removals last year reflects only part of the administration’s dismal record of executing our immigration laws. In reality, the bulk of the claimed removals, 64 percent, were illegal border crossers who were attempting to enter the United States. These numbers confirm the publicly stated allegations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents that they are being prevented from detaining and removing illegal aliens already in the U.S.
“Of the much smaller percentage of removals that were carried out against illegal aliens in the interior of the country, nearly all were people who met one of the administration’s own priority criteria — which generally means that they must have a conviction for some other offense in addition to violating U.S. immigration laws.
“Only 8,331 people were deported simply because they were here illegally, meaning that the odds of an illegal alien having the law enforced against him was about 7 one-hundredths of one percent in 2013. These numbers are consistent with the views expressed earlier this week by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that merely being in the country should not be grounds for removal.
“The 2013 removal numbers should effectively halt consideration of the president’s immigration agenda in the House of Representatives. It is clear that the Obama administration’s enforcement claims are misleading, at best, and that Congress and the American people should have no confidence that new enforcement promises would be kept.”