Filed Under:  Homeland Security

ICE’s Own Data Fails To Back Enforcement Claims

January 6th 2012   ·   0 Comments

The Homeland Security agency charged with immigration enforcement has repeatedly lied to Congress, the American people and the media by drastically increasing the number of individuals that have been apprehended, deported or detained.

The shameful revelation was made this week by a nonprofit university group dedicated to researching the U.S. government. The nonpartisan New York-based data research center, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), provides detailed information about the operation of hundreds of government agencies. Immigration is one of many areas it researches.

For the better part of the last two years TRAC has been engaged in a fierce legal battle with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over records involving the agency’s enforcement activities. After repeatedly getting stonewalled, TRAC was recently provided with some of the documents involving statistics of individuals who had been arrested, detained, charged, returned or removed from the country during a specific period.

Although ICE is still withholding much of the information, the files that have been furnished so far reveal “vast discrepancies” in many areas, according to a case-by-case analysis conducted by TRAC. The initial probe reveals that official ICE statements claimed 34 times more detentions, 24 times more deportations and almost five times more apprehensions than its own data. This certainly indicates that ICE knowingly lied to lawmakers and the press to embellish its enforcement activities.

For instance, during a one-year period that ICE claimed it detained 233,417 individuals it really only detained 6,778, according to agency’s own records. That same year, ICE said it deported 166,075 people when it really only deported 6,906 and it only apprehended 21,339 compared to claims that it had apprehended 102,034.

TRAC is still working to get the rest of the records and points out in an appeal filed this week that “ICE has been making highly exaggerated and inaccurate claims about the level of its enforcement activities,” or it is “withholding on a massive scale.” TRAC further states that the agency’s apparent inability to substantiate the level of its claimed enforcement activities is a very significant matter that’s central to the public debate on federal enforcement policy and the presidential election campaign.

In early December TRAC also uncovered records that show the Obama Administration inflated statistics to show that it had deported a record-high number of illegal immigrants with criminal records. The documents reveal that the figure is actually at an all-time low and rapidly decreasing as the administration brags about removing an unprecedented number of criminal aliens.

A version of this column originally appeared in www.judicialwatch.org.

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