WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, America First Legal (AFL) is releasing the damning findings from its first Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and FOIA enforcement lawsuit against the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
At the beginning of the Biden Administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) directed ICE to “reprioritize” its approach to enforcement actions. Open border zealots, newly in charge of immigration enforcement, required all ICE officers to seek pre-approval from headquarters in Washington, D.C., before they were allowed to arrest or remove an illegal alien – even those convicted of heinous crimes.
AFL submitted its first FOIA request for these records in 2021, and when the Biden Administration stonewalled, AFL sued. For the past year, AFL has obtained records from ICE that show how backward and destructive the Biden Administration’s priorities have been. The picture provided by the documents received to date is one of an administration using bureaucratic red tape to obstruct immigration enforcement and facilitate illegal entry into, and presence in, the United States.
AFL has received approximately half of the existing data, and what has been uncovered thus far is alarming. To date, ICE has produced data on 24,000 illegal aliens against whom an enforcement action was approved. This means that an ICE officer had to go to the computer, input all the information, and wait for the bureaucracy to answer before they could do their job.
At a time when the Biden Administration and radical left would have you believe that all illegal aliens are legitimate asylum seekers in search of a better life, the data tell a vastly different story and show that illegal immigration is not a victimless crime.
Of the data produced by ICE so far:
- The words “homicide” or “murder” appear 1,770 times combined.
- The word “sexual” appears over 4,620 times.
- The word “minor” appears over 1,800 times, and “child” another 3,463.
- The word “rape” appears over 1,000 times.
- The phrase “controlled substance” appears over 1,850 times.
- The word “DUI” appears over 1,500 times.
- The word “drug” appears nearly 7,900 times, and narcotic another 600.
- The word “fraud” appears over 1,200 times.
- The word “trafficking” appears 1,670 times.
- The word “assault” appears 8,890 times.
- The word “Robbery” appears 2,250 times.
- The words “gang” or “cartel” appear 700 times combined.
The word “Restitution” appears 66 times. For the 35 individuals for whom an ICE officer listed the amount of restitution owed, they owe a collective $100 million for offenses that include tax fraud, health care fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, and other criminal acts. Eighteen aliens have court-ordered restitution exceeding $1 million each, including two who owe over $10 million each. One alien, convicted of defrauding the United States Government of over $56 million, single-handedly owes $28 million in restitution for health care fraud.
This additional evidence makes it painfully clear that this administration is using its authorities to facilitate illegal immigration, rather than to stop it, and is preventing ICE’s dedicated men and women from doing their jobs.
Statement from Gene Hamilton, America First Legal Vice President and General Counsel:
“President Biden and his open-border idealogues have systematically decimated our borders and our immigration enforcement regime. From the earliest days of the Biden Administration, instead of allowing ICE officers to go out and do their job of arresting and removing dangerous people who are not allowed to be in the country, the Biden Administration made all those officers go into the office and submit a report about why they should be able to enforce the law, and then wait for approval from Washington, D.C. Fortunately, Texas and Louisiana took action to stop these twisted policies–and we hope for a good decision from the Supreme Court soon–but seeing law enforcement officers have to justify why convicted felons need to be deported should shock all Americans,” said Gene Hamilton.
Download the combined excel file here.
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