US

Report: DHS Catches Just 54 Percent Of Illegal Border-Crossers

(John Moore/Getty Images)

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent

An internal Department of Homeland Security report shows that the agency catches just 54 percent of illegal border-crossers into the U.S.

The report undercuts the agency’s publicly available data, which shows that 81 percent of migrants that cross the border illegally are caught.

The Associated Press reviewed the internal report after it was given to them by a government official wishing to remain anonymous. The AP published the findings Friday.

Fox News previously reported that a source told them the report hasn’t been released to congressmen and the public because “it would ‘look bad’ and ‘help elect Donald Trump.'”

The capture of 54 percent of illegal immigrants crossing the border is down from 55 percent in 2014 and up 11 percent from 26 percent in 2005. The report was made for the DHS by the federally funded Institute for Defense Analyses.

The publicly available DHS data includes immigrants who set foot in the U.S and turn around and asylum-seekers as individuals they have caught. This put the capture rate at 81 percent in Fiscal Year 2015. The report that the DHS hasn’t released publicly doesn’t include these two groups of individuals, and the surging number of asylum seekers shows why the public number is so high.

There were 140,000 asylum seekers on the southern border in 2015, seven times more than the 20,000 asylum seekers in 2005.

At the same time, DHS statistics show a heavy decline in the number of arrests of individuals who have entered illegally at the border. It has decreased 88 percent from 1.7 million in 2005 to 170,000 in FY 2015.

“DHS does not believe it is in the public interest to release, and it would be irresponsible to make policy or other judgments on the basis of analysis that is incomplete and remains a work in progress,” DHS spokeswoman Marsha Catron told the AP.