Records Reveal Few Central Americans Deported,

by Marguerite Telford –

… Yet President Provides Congress with an Evasive Plan –

WASHINGTON, DC (July 1, 2014) — The President’s letter to Congress yesterday did not send a forceful signal to halt the surge of illegal aliens the Center for Immigration Studies encountered during their visit to the Texas border, where they heard firsthand from Central American parents the lure of lax border security and unenforced deportation laws. Word has gotten out that very few of the tens of thousands of Central Americans apprehended by the Border Patrol or ICE in recent years have been sent home, and that the number of juveniles deported has declined significantly since 2008, despite the increased number of minors arriving.

According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records obtained by the Center, from the start of the federal fiscal year on October 1, 2013, to the end of April 2014, ICE took into custody 141,525 migrants who had been apprehended by the Border Patrol and CBP port of entry inspectors. Of these, 33,959 were convicted criminals and 107,566 had no criminal convictions. The number of non-criminals turned over to ICE tracks roughly with the number of other-than-Mexican (OTM) crossers apprehended by the Border Patrol so far in FY 2014, which by early June had reached 126,374 just in the Rio Grande Valley sector in south Texas.

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“Our interviews with Central American parents, who had just recently illegally entered the country, made it clear that the news has spread that there is a huge loophole in our immigration laws,” said Jerry Kammer, Senior Research Fellow. “People are also getting the message, perhaps circulated by immigrant smugglers who charge thousands of dollars to bring people to the border, that now is the best time to come because the U.S. is providing permits that allow parents and their children to stay in the country. While the permits require them to report to immigration court, the vast majority never do.”

“We have seen a sharp decrease – a 40 percent decrease – this year in the deportations of citizens of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras despite a dramatic rise in apprehensions. Most of those who have entered illegally are still here and are not leaving, commented Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies and author of the report. “The word is out that everyone gets in; only one thing can end this crisis – an end to the administration’s ‘catch-and-release policy.’ The President has yet to show that he intends to do that.”

Contact: Marguerite Telford

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