Top ICE Official: Obama’s Policies Have Led To Decline In Deportations

(John Moore/Getty Images)

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
Font Size:

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement official in charge of deportation operations admitted Thursday that deportation figures are down due to Obama administration policies.

ICE deported 62 percent fewer illegal aliens from the interior in 2015 than they did in 2012, while at the same time the budget for removal increased from $2.75 billion to $3.4 billion. “Can you explain Mr. Homan how the numbers have dropped so significantly when you have a 25 percent increase in your budget?” Alabama Sen. [crscore]Jeff Sessions[/crscore] asked Thomas Homan during a Senate hearing. Homas is the executive associate director for enforcement and removal operations at ICE.

“Our job is tougher today than it was back in FY12 for various reasons.” Homan responded. He pointed to the fact that California passed the “Trust Act” which limited local law enforcement’s ability to hold illegal immigrants in jail. The ICE official also mentioned uncooperative “sanctuary cities.”

Sessions though wanted to focus on the Obama’s administration’s effect on ICE. “Forgive me if I don’t accept the fact that sanctuary cities that have been in place for many years and the detainer policy is the exclusive reason for [the decrease in interior deportations],” the Republican senator said.

“Isn’t it true that ICE officers get calls every day from police officers in departments all over America, not sanctuary cities, and you’re not responding to them because they don’t meet the guidelines or the priorities established by the President,” Sessions asked Homan.

“That is true,” the ICE official responded.

Sessions continued on to say: “So it’s not true then that the reason your numbers are down is because you don’t have people to deport. You have them to deport but you have policies that tell you not to deport whole categories of people that are here unlawfully, isn’t that correct?”

“That’s a factor, yes sir” Homan replied.