The ongoing assault on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is truly unhinged from reality. As one pundit observed of the Left’s latest open-borders crusade: There’s more outrage over ICE than ISIS.
Data – and the lack of it – tell a far different story than the screamers in the streets.
Just as the Abolish-ICE crowd conveniently glosses over Barack Obama’s migrant detention centers, they ignore the most recently reported deportation numbers.
In fiscal year 2017 (which included four months of the Obama administration), ICE deported 226,119 people, fewer than the previous year’s 240,255. In fiscal 2012, Obama’s ICE agents deported 409,849 (still less than 4 percent of the estimated 12 million illegal aliens in this country).
Under Trump, ICE deportations are trending down, not up. That certainly cannot be due to a diminishing number of deportable individuals.
Then there are the detainers, which ICE uses to hold suspected criminal aliens in local jails. Since these detainers are merely requests, sanctuary cities across the country can and (thanks to meddling by lower courts) do reject them with impunity.
Local resistance notwithstanding, here’s another blow to the ICE-as-Gestapo narrative: Detainer requests are down, too.
Through April 2018, ICE was issuing an average of 14,000 new detainers each month. That’s far below the peak levels under Obama, when more than 20,000 detainers were prepared monthly.
“The pace under President Trump shows no indication of returning to those higher detainer usage levels,” reports the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a nonpartisan research center at Syracuse University.
More troubling, ICE is clamming up. Inexplicably, the agency no longer discloses how many detainers are actually fulfilled, or if they lead to deportation. (TRAC is suing ICE to get these statistics formerly supplied by the agency.)
As ICE agents run up against new impediments daily — Philadelphia last month scrapped its agreement to notify ICE of felony and misdemeanor arrests made by city police – the agency isn’t helping itself by withholding relevant data that is public record.
Far from looking like a tough immigration-enforcement agency, is ICE melting under pressure? Paging Mr. Trump.
Bob Dane writes for the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform.