We are told by the legal profession that nothing can be done to block bogus asylum-seekers from entering our country en masse, obtaining catch-and-release, and remaining here pending the outcome of a court decision that may be years in coming. But why is the DHS not at least deporting those who already went through this tedious process and have been ordered to be deported? Doing so would not only help eliminate public charge and potential gang members and drug runners for MS-13, it would deter the current and future wave waiting at the “conveyor belt” through Mexico from making the trip north.
According to new data obtained by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) via a FOIA request, there are 644,488 illegal aliens remaining in our country who have already been served final deportation orders. And those are just from the top four countries of origin – El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. The IRLI shared much more data with CR. The total number of illegal aliens who remain in the country despite final deportation orders is 1,009,550.
In addition, there are roughly 1.1 million others from those four counties who have “pending final orders” and are close to receiving deportation orders. Those with pending final orders are usually individuals who have already been ordered deported by immigration judges but are appealing their case to the Bureau of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the appellate body of the DOJ’s administrative immigration courts.
That is a total of 1.7 million illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America with final or near-final orders of deportation. Those numbers are as of June 2018, right before the largest surge in Central Americans began over that summer and intensified in the fall of 2018 and winter of 2019. The total number of those ordered deported or with pending deportation orders for nationals of all countries of origin is 2.55 million.
Putting aside the debate over admissions at our front door, shouldn’t there be a comprehensive effort to empower and direct ICE to begin deporting as many of these people as possible?
The entire reason why Central Americans are now coming in record numbers is because they know that, even though their flawed asylum claims will ultimately be rejected, so long as they obtain entry and are released pending the court dates, they will not be deported. But there is nothing reasonable keeping us from carrying out deportation orders that have already been issued.
It’s quite evident that if we begin deporting specifically the Central American families and teenagers, it will stop the flow of newcomers. By my count, there have been close to one million Central American family members and unaccompanied teens who have come since 2013. Very few have been deported. In fiscal year 2017, only 1.1 percent of non-Mexican family unit aliens had been repatriated and only 1.8 percent of non-Mexican unaccompanied alien minors had been repatriated. Those are pretty good odds to bank on for people seeking to flee poverty and enter the protection of America. What if we began to deport the 450,976 Central Americans with final deportation orders and accelerated the cases of the 715,930 who are close to final deportation orders?
If we prioritized both DOJ adjudicative resources and ICE deportation resources for these people more than for anyone else, it would immediately send the signal back to the next wave in Central America that we actually enforce our laws, according to Thomas Homan, former ICE associate director in the Obama administration. “ICE should do a nationwide operation to locate, arrest, and remove those who have entered the U.S. illegally, including family units, who have had their due process, lost their cases, and have been ordered removed by a judge, said Homan in a statement to CR. “If a final order issued by a federal judge doesn’t mean anything and it isn’t executed, then there is no integrity in the entire system.”
Of course, in general, it makes sense for ICE to prioritize the deportation of the two million known criminal aliens. But it is well worthwhile to divert resources for a few months to deport those who are fueling the current boundless migration.
Why does it seem like Central American families are being treated like a protected class over and above even the benefits that the radical judges are conferring on them – to the point that we are not even bothering to deport those who already have gone through the process? “We did that about three years ago, and it had a significant impact on illegal border crossings,” said Homan, remembering how even Obama eventually shut down the first wave of Central American teens that began in 2013-2014. “It worked to slow down the surge in subsequent years in FY15 and FY16. For those in Central America that knowingly enter the US in violation of law to take advantage of the loopholes, they need to realize that we are a nation of laws and after you have been afforded due process at great taxpayer expense, you must abide by the decisions of our court system.”
There are a total of 1.7 million individuals who have already exhausted all of their options to game our loopholes. Pursuant to law, they must be deported, yet enough illegal aliens to fill up the entire city of Philadelphia remain in this country against the will of the American people.
How is it that, in 1954, President Eisenhower directly and indirectly removed over one million illegal aliens in just a few months without any lawfare, yet we don’t have the resources to remove the million with final deportation orders or the two million known criminal aliens, and certainly not both? Where there is a will, there is a way.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.