Obama’s ICE Director, Sarah Saldaña, admitted to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that she is derelict in her primary job of deporting illegal aliens, including criminal aliens, from the country.
Despite the fact ICE’s budget for removals has increased from $2.6 billion in 2011 to $3.4 billion and they are privy to more resources and technology than ever before, deportations have plummeted by almost two thirds from 200,000 to 70,000. What’s worse, the deportation of criminal aliens dropped from 150,000 to just 63,000.
There you have it. As Jessica Vaughn presented before the committee in painstaking detail, while overall deportations dropped dramatically, the decline in deportations of criminal aliens has been breathtaking. So the entire rationale for Obama’s amnesty and suspension of deportations – to focus on criminal aliens – has been proven false beyond a shadow of a doubt.
What was Saldaña left to say?
First she attempted to blame the decline in deportations on an overall decline in illegal immigration across the border. The problem is that the Census has picked up on a massive surge over the past few years, following the post-recession decline in illegal immigration from 2009-2013. Moreover, as the New York Times reports, the surge in illegal crossings is stronger than ever. And the fact that this administration has released hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens over the past few years demonstrates that the reduction in deportation is not the result of a decline in the potential pool of deportable illegal aliens.
The excuse that they are lacking resources is absurd because ICE’s budget and access to high tech databases is more robust than ever.
Secondly, Saldaña attempted to say that deportation is not a good thing and a that following current law “is not practical and that is, quite frankly, not very smart.” The problem with this assertion, as Cruz noted, is that Bill Clinton, with much fewer assets in the field, deported 12.3 million immigrants during his presidency, almost four times the number of the Obama Administration.
Finally, the ICE Director attempted to blame the drop in deportations on the 2001 Zadvydas v Davis court decision, which limited ICE’s ability to hold illegal aliens whose home countries refuse to accept them back. While the Zadvydas case was definitely an egregious violation of the plenary power of Congress over immigration, using it as in excuse for suspending all deportations is a facial absurdity. The court ruling has been in place for 15 years. Why would it precipitate a decline in deportations only over the past few years? Further, even the court’s decision, which was decisively shredded by Scalia in his dissent, conceded that the government has the right to hold an alien in confinement “until it has been determined that there is no significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable future.”  Clearly, very few of those released by the Administration meet that threshold.
At the hearing, Senators Sessions and Cruz revealed the true magnitude of the criminal alien problem, the lack of deportations, and the existential threat of open borders. Consider the following information that was exposed by the senators and the witnesses at the hearing:
Now with the increased flow of middle easterners crossing our border and the massive number of middle easterners who come here on temporary visas or immigrant visas, does this information make you feel safe?
At the same time, Democrats refuse to implement a visa tracking system so we don’t even know all the people that have disappeared into our population. ABC News reported last year that DHS has lost track of 58,000 foreign students who have overstayed their visas, of which 6,000 presented a “heightened concern.” Keep in mind we admit over 150,000 foreign students from the Middle East, 60,000 from Saudi Arabia alone, every year.
Obama’s open border policies and refusal to deport even criminal aliens is perhaps the biggest existential threat to our security.
 Zadvydas v. Davis 533 U.S. 701 (2001)
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.