Politics
A security guard looks out of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in New York, Aug. 15, 2012. (REUTERS/Keith Bedford) A security guard looks out of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in New York, Aug. 15, 2012. (REUTERS/Keith Bedford)  

Report: Great majority of illegal immigrants immune from deportation due to Obama’s ‘priorities’

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

The Obama administration’s immigration polities have provided a de facto amnesty for most of the illegal immigrants living in the United States, according to Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions.

“Under the guise of setting ‘priorities,’ the Administration has determined that almost anyone in the world who can enter the United States is free to illegally live, work and claim benefits here as long as they are not caught committing a felony or other serious crime,” Sessions said Wednesday in conjunction with a three-page report, obtained by The Daily Caller, detailing the administration’s immigration “lawlessness.”

Sessions’ three-pager labeled “DHS Enforcement Data Reveals Administrative Amnesty Much Broader Than Previously Understood” shows even future visa overstays and illegal immigrants will not face any repercussions.

“[A] review of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICS) published enforcement statistics for 2013 reveals a shocking truth: DHS has blocked the enforcement of immigration law for the overwhelming majority of violations — and is planning to widen that amnesty even further,” the document reads.

The review of the 2013 ICE data revealed that less than 0.2 percent of the approximately 12 million illegal immigrants and visa overstays who were not convicted of a serious criminal offense were placed in removal proceedings. Further, merely .08 percent of the 12 million who were not convicted of a serious crime or a repeat immigration offender were placed in removal proceedings.

Thus, 99.92 percent of illegal immigrants and visa overstays without serious crime convictions or repeat immigration offenses did not face deportation.

The report recalled two 2013 local news reports — one from Arizona, the other from Texas — about ICE simply releasing illegal immigrant workers “because they did not have known outstanding warrants or criminal convictions” and were therefore considered low priority.

“Instances like these are not the exception, but the rule. DHS has decided that the Administration’s ‘priorities’ trump the immigration laws passed by Congress,” the report reads. “The Administration’s priorities have therefore provided an executive amnesty not only to the great majority of the 12 million living here illegally today (including even the most recent arrivals) but to those who will violate immigration law tomorrow. It is an open invitation for a future immigrant to overstay a visa, or to enter the U.S. illegally, knowing that they will be immune from enforcement as long as they avoid being convicted of a felony or other serious crime once here.”

According to the document, this “free pass” applies to illegal immigrants even if they have a criminal record — so long as that record does not meet the level of an agency “priority.”

“In effect, DHS has ordered ICE to largely abandon crime prevention and to wait until after a serious criminal offense has occurred, a conviction has been obtained, and a prison sentence has been served at taxpayer expense — and to only take action subsequent to the offense by providing shuttle transport to the airport,” the report reads. “Much of ICE’s operation has been reduced to transporting convicted felons from prisons to planes.”

And while the number of illegal immigrants deported due to their illegality is already very small, the document argues that fraction is about to get even smaller due to the administration’s “enforcement review.”

“DHS is considering exempting even some of the most habitual immigration violators and fugitives, offering near enforcement immunity to any illegal immigrant who does not commit a felony or other grave offense,” it reads.