• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • DHS Deportation Numbers Again Called into Question

    Reports are circling again this week that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to overstate its deportation numbers.

    After boasting the highest number of removals of illegal immigrants in agency history late last year, DHS was criticized by Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX) for artificially inflating its deportation numbers by including figures on voluntary removals. Renewing his charge last week, Smith is once again pointing to further efforts to “distort” deportation statistics.

    According to a press release by the House Judiciary Committee:

    The House Judiciary Committee has obtained internal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) documents, which show that the Obama administration is cooking the books to achieve their so-called “record” deportation numbers for illegal immigrants and that removals are actually significantly down—not up—from 2009. Beginning in 2011, the Committee has learned that Obama administration officials at the Department of Homeland Security started to include numbers from the Alien Transfer Exit Program (ATEP) in its year-end removal numbers.… [I]t is illegitimate to count illegal immigrants apprehended by the Border Patrol along the Southwest border as ICE removals.

    Under the Alien Transfer Exit Program (ATEP), which began in 2008, Mexican nationals apprehended along the border by the U.S. Border Patrol are moved to another border sector before they are sent back to Mexico. The intent is to break the cycle of smuggling by preventing illegal aliens from simply turning around and attempting to cross the border again at the same point of entry.

    Thus, by including ATEP numbers in removal figures, DHS is counting individuals who are apprehended along the border and immediately returned in the same way as those who are ordered to be deported by the courts. The key difference, then, is not only that individuals returned through ATEP are apprehended before they cross the border into the U.S. but also that those returned through ATEP receive no criminal penalty or bars from returning to the U.S.

    Do away with ATEP removals numbers in ICE’s deportation figures and what you get is not the record number the agency so proudly proclaims. ICE’s 2011 total removals, according to the House Judiciary press release, would drop from a purported 397,000 to around 360,000, and the agency’s 2012 numbers (annualized) would drop from 334,000 to approximately 263,000.

    To put this in perspective, that means that ICE removals this year would then be 14 percent below reported 2008 numbers and 19 percent below the same figure for 2009.

    America doesn’t need another numbers game. It’s time for the Administration to get serious when it comes to immigration enforcement. The nation needs an immigration policy that not only respects the rule of law by ensuring that individuals are not able to enter and remain in the U.S. illegally, but also streamlines the visa system to ensure that those who wish to come here legally can do so.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to DHS Deportation Numbers Again Called into Question

    1. Even if you accept the bogus numbers as real…….what the government is saying is they are abject failures at the task of deportation…..why…….because at only 400K a year being deported it would take 30 years to deport the estimated 12 million illegals in the country today!

    2. Stirling says:

      DHS has been politicized, as most of our security has been since this administration was elected. To selectively enforce our border laws is nothing short of "non-enforcement." Thus the only option as a result is propaganda to the general public to decive. Considering the strictness of other countries imigration laws, America is going in the wrong direction to secure our country from illegals.

    3. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Does anyone really expect truth and honesty from this administration? Every member of Obama's team will follow the example and instruction from their leader Obama, as we all know by experience, simply doesn't tell the truth.

    4. Jeanne Stotler says:

      True administration tactic, lie, lie and lie again, everyoe should read Lincoln's Gettysburg address, especially the last words, and Oh God, I do hope this Gov't of the People, by the people and for the people, shall endure, but it wouldn't under this POTUS

    5. nish says:

      We get here so much of luxury hotels in hyderabad. This is One of the best city for Hotels, Hospitals and IT. This city is famous for IT field. All higher MNC IT companies are working here. Daily So many visitors will visit the hyderabad and they will arrange our hotels. We provide the best service to the customer for our hotels.


    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.