Immigration agents tried to deport only about a fourth of the cases they encountered in 2013, said a report being released Monday from the Center for Immigration Studies that shows just how much President Obama’s policies have cut down on potential enforcement.
Jessica Vaughan, the report’s author, called it a form of “catch and release.” She said agents at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement received more than 720,000 hits on immigrants who could be eligible for deportation but filed charges against fewer than 195,000 of them.
Of those let go, 68,000 had criminal convictions on their records. All told, more than 870,000 immigrants have been ordered removed from the U.S. but are defying the government and refusing to leave.
“These numbers confirm that interior enforcement has been anything but tough — that in fact, ICE is releasing more illegal aliens and more criminal aliens than they’re trying to remove,” said Ms. Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates a crackdown on immigration.
The numbers are being released as Mr. Obama comes under pressure to cut deportations even more.