Although more money was allocated to immigration officials for detention and deportation of illegal immigrants in recent years, deportations have plummeted.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported nearly 43 percent fewer illegal immigrants from the border in 2015 than in 2012, and nearly 62 percent fewer illegal immigrants from the interior, statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security show. At the same time, ICE’s budget for detention and removal of illegal immigrants increased from $2.75 billion to $3.4 billion.
A chart from the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest illustrates the decline in deportations.
ICE deported more than 400,000 illegal immigrants from the U.S. in Fiscal Year 2012, the chart shows, including nearly 200,000 from the interior. By Fiscal Year 2015 that number declined to about 235,000 deportations, including just under 70,000 from the interior.
The decline is at least in part due to the Obama administration’s relaxed attitude toward deportation, which officials have attributed to a lack of resources. Enforcement policies are so convoluted that ICE director Sarah Saldana admitted last year officers must carry around flash cards to help them remember which illegal aliens are to be prioritized for deportation.
“Every officer uses one of these cards which clearly outlines those priorities,” Saldana testified before Congress, adding: “Quite frankly, I carry it myself.”
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