WASHINGTON, July 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The human cost of suppressing immigration enforcement was highlighted on the opening day of the Republican National Convention, featuring speeches by Americans whose family members were killed by illegal aliens. The latest ICE deportation statistics, the focus of a new report by the Center for Immigration Studies, give context to these stories: deportations have continued to decline in 2016, putting the country on pace to have the lowest number of deportations since 2006.
Jessica Vaughan, the Center's director of policy studies and author of the report, writes, "These statistics reveal an alarming deterioration in immigration enforcement. The economic, social, and public safety consequences of this surely will be a lamentable legacy of the Obama administration."
Deportations of criminals have also continued to decline – more than 60 percent since 2011 - despite the Obama administration's repeated claims to prioritize their removal. According to the Center's report, "ICE internal metrics, including arrests, detainers and charging documents issued, show that enforcement in the interior has reached the lowest level of this administration. Most of ICE's workload (72%) is still made up of cases referred from the Border Patrol rather than aliens arrested in the interior of the country."
The present administration's deceptive practice of including hundreds of thousands of border cases in ICE deportation totals allowed President Obama to claim "record deportations" beginning in 2012, even as deportations from the interior decreased sharply.
The new statistics also show ICE's continued failure to comply with the congressional detention mandate. In the current year to date, the ICE detention rate is 16 percent below capacity. Detention allows enforcement of removal orders and ensures that aliens who are charged with violations actually will show up in court. "Though space is available, ICE has released more than 86,000 criminal aliens from its custody since 2013, including more than 19,000 in 2015."