March 24, 2022
By Tom Homan
Not only is the Biden administration implementing an immigration agenda that is causing great damage to our country, it is increasingly attempting to hide and manipulate the data that reveals the extent of that damage.
A long-awaited 2021 annual report on the activities of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that is usually released in late November or early December was released last week. I have opined many times that there is no good reason for the delay other than that the administration is trying to hide and spin the numbers. This is being done because the raw data would reveal that the Biden administration has severely limited ICE operations and mission, resulting in more public safety threats from illegal aliens not being arrested, detained, or removed.
After reading the report, I now understand why the White House delayed its release. They must have crunched the numbers every way possible and decided that to show the data by calendar year was better than the usually reported fiscal year. To show any increase in arrests, they had to play with past several years numbers to average out the data, which has never been done.
Also revealing is that much of the previously reported data is missing. Where is the data that has been in every report for nearly a decade that shows the criminal charges and convictions for ICE administrative arrests? Where is the data that shows administrative arrests by month, or the data that shows ICE removals by arresting agencies by month? Where is the data that shows how many detainers were issued? That all of this data was excluded can only mean that it is highly embarrassing to Biden and his administration.
I oversaw this report for many years during my time at ICE. The White House can try to spin and hide the truth from the taxpayers, but they cannot fool me. They do not want to show the data on which agency made the arrests that led to removals of illegal aliens because it would show that a large number of the extremely low 59,011 removals were actually border patrol arrests, not ICE arrests.
They will not show the number of detainer requests issued to remove and deport criminal aliens in local jails because they have plummeted to an historic low as well. I can tell you that under the 287G program where ICE works with some local jails, the number of detainers issued for assault are down 57 percent. Detainers issued for other crimes including weapons offenses, dangerous drugs, homicide, and sex crimes have similar double-digit percentage decreases
The number of removals in the current report is the lowest number in the history of ICE. You would have to go back to 1995, when the old Immigration and Naturalization (INS) was still in existence, to find a number that low. Worse, out of those 59,011 removals conducted by ICE, more than half were done in the almost four months that the Trump administration was still in power. That White House performed more removals in four months that Biden’s did in eight months.
While Biden’s appointees are trying to sugarcoat this report, some of these numbers cannot be spun. Among them are that ICE arrests of illegal aliens in 2021 for crimes including homicide-related offenses, sexual assaults, robberies and kidnappings were all down significantly from the previous two years.
Another alarming revelation in the report is that “34 [deported criminals] were designated as known or suspected terrorists.” However, the Biden administration has said there is no evidence of known or suspected terrorists crossing the southwest border. Our country is facing enough instability right now. Who will Biden blame if someone who entered the country illegally through our wide-open border commits an act of mass terror?
This administration can try to hide, duck and spin, but the data is what it is. Our country is less safe. More criminals who are in the country illegally are walking the streets in our neighborhoods. This is an outrage and should not be tolerated by any American.
In the first year of the Biden administration, we saw an historic illegal immigration crisis where over 2 million people entered our country illegally and in that same year, ICE has the fewest removals in the history of the Agency. It’s not mismanagement and it’s not incompetence. This is by design.
The problem is that you can’t have national security if you don’t have border security. Border security is far less effective if you don’t have interior enforcement, and this administration has killed that.
Tom Homan is a senior fellow at the Immigration Reform Law Institute and the former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Also published at: Tom Homan, The White House Tries to Spin Its Disastrous Immigration Record, Fox News, March 24, 2022.
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