Former Judge Says He ‘Could Not Substantiate’ Any Illegal Migrants He Ordered Removed Were Deported


Julianna Frieman Contributor
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A former immigration judge said Thursday he “could not substantiate” that any of the illegal migrants he ordered to be removed from the United States were deported, a video showed.

Former immigration judge Matthew O’Brien told Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs, that he could not find evidence that a single illegal immigrant he ordered to leave the country had been removed by the Biden administration during a hearing on the consequences of catch and release at the southern border.

“I also found when I was an immigration judge — I later tried to determine how many of the people that I had ordered removed, that their removal had actually been effectuated from the United States, which was something that was fairly easy to do under prior administrations,” O’Brien told Grothman.

“But I could not substantiate that a single individual that I had entered an order of removal against had actually been removed by this administration,” O’Brien added.

“Shocking,” Grothman replied, “Can you give me examples of crimes where you think they were removed under Trump, but are not removed now. Type of things — of crimes they would commit?”

O’Brien explained that illegal migrants who commit crimes from “shoplifting to more serious things like drug trafficking and murder” are eligible for deportation via a removal proceeding and a hearing. The former immigration judge compared the process to a “driver’s license revocation proceeding,” stating that this policy was better enforced during the Trump administration than the Biden administration. (RELATED: Illegal Migrant ‘Theft Groups’ Reportedly Target Small Town)

“I can say definitively under the Trump administration there was an effort to prioritize the serious violent crimes for removal,” O’Brien stated. “Sometimes it’s not always possible to easily remove someone if their country of citizenship doesn’t wish to issue them a travel document or for whatever reason doesn’t wish to take them. But the effort was made regardless and in most cases it was successful.”

“Under this administration, I don’t think that the effort is even being made,” O’Brien said of the Biden administration.

Enough illegal immigrants were caught and released into the United States in 2023 to fill Yankee Stadium over 17 times, according to federal data. Border Patrol counted over 1.7 million illegal border crossings last year, of which over 824,000 authorities released into the U.S. interior pending court hearings, data excluding Dec. 2023 showed. 46,537 individuals can be seated in Yankee Stadium at once, Ticketmaster reported.