White House officials won’t say how many of the illegal immigrants now flooding up from Central America have been given a courtroom date to ask for green cards.
“I will take a look and see if those numbers are available,” White House Josh Earnest told frustrated reporters at the Friday White House press conference.
Earnest’s evasion came after multiple questions from Fox News’ Ed Henry and NBC’s Jim Avila.
“We will get back to you with respect to the precise numbers,” Alejandro Mayorkas, the deputy secretary of Homeland Security, told reporters during a Friday phone conference with reporters.
Mayorkas is in charge of the agency which provides the vital “Notice to Appear” documents that give the illegal immigrants a court date in U.S. immigration courts. The notice are dubbed “permiso” by Latinos.
If they get the permiso, they are let go into the United States.
They can subsequently decide to live in the United States as illegal immigrants, where they will face minimal chance of deportation. In 2013, for example, Obama’s deputies deported less than 0.2 percent of the illegals living in the U.S. who had not been found guilty of felonies.
Alternatively, the illegal immigrants can use the permiso to appeal for the right to stay in the United States. If they later decide they’re likely to lose that claim, they can evade deportation by living as illegal immigrants.
But if the illegals are not given the permiso, they’re detained until they’re returned to their home countries.
If the White House releases data on the number of permiso, it would allow Americans, would-be migrants and Latino ethnic advocacy groups to quickly calculate how many of the illegals are being sent home, and how many are likely to win green cards.
Another official on the call, Cecilia Munoz, Obama’s top domestic policy aide, also refused to provide the requested numbers. She is a former senior executive at the La Raza ethnic lobby.
Laura Meckler, the Wall Street Journal’s immigration reporter, complained to Munoz and Mayorkas about the stonewall. “You have not been willing or able to produce any numbers,” she said.
In response, Mayorkas offered a different sent of numbers. He said that 52,000 unaccompanied youths have been arrested, and 39,000 additional adults and accompanying children have been apprehended since October.
A late May estimate by an official predicted that 90,000 unaccompanied youths, plus 140,000 adults with accompanying children, will cross the border in the 12 months up to October.
On June 12, Jeh Johnson, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, frustrated reporters when he refused to provide numbers about the inflow.