Trump Administration Releases Final 2017 Report on Incarcerated Illegal Immigrants, Here’s What They Found

More than one in five of all federal inmates in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons are immigrants, as of the end of the fiscal year 2017, a federal report released Thursday said.

The report also found that 94 percent of confirmed foreign-born inmates in federal incarceration were in the country illegally.

The Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security issued its final quarterly report for 2017 measuring progress since a January executive order by President Donald Trump to crack down on illegal immigration.

The report also found that about two-thirds of all immigrants in the custody of U.S. Marshals Service were in the United States illegally.

“This shows undeniably the need to secure the southern border with a wall to prevent many of the crimes from occurring,” a senior administration official said.

This is the third report issued since a Jan. 25 executive order regarding interior enforcement of immigration laws.

The reports have been primarily raw numerical data of confirmed foreign-born and illegal immigrants incarcerated. Officials said they hope future reports will have a breakdown of specific crimes, as well as information on state and local incarcerations.

A senior administration official cited U.S. Sentencing Commission data from fiscal year 2016 that found almost one-third of drug trafficking crimes and more than two-thirds of drug-use crimes came from foreign-born offenders, both legal and illegal.

The report found 58,766 known or suspected aliens were in in Justice Department custody at the end of fiscal 2017, or Sept. 30. That included 39,455 persons incarcerated by the Bureau of Prisons, or BOP, and another 19,311 held by U.S. Marshals, or USMS.

The report continues:

Of this total, 37,557 people had been confirmed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be aliens (i.e., non-citizens and non-nationals), while 21,209 foreign-born people were still under investigation by ICE to determine alienage.

Among the 37,557 confirmed aliens, 35,334 people (94 percent) were unlawfully present. These numbers include a 92 percent unlawful rate among 24,476 confirmed aliens in BOP custody and a 97 percent unlawful rate among 13,081 confirmed aliens in USMS custody.

“The American people deserve a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement issued Thursday. “But at the border and in communities across America, our citizens are being victimized by illegal aliens who commit crimes.”

Sessions added:

Nearly 95 percent of confirmed aliens in our federal prisons are here illegally. We know based on sentencing data that non-citizens commit a substantially disproportionate number of drug-related offenses, which contributes to our national drug abuse crisis.

The simple fact is that any offense committed by a criminal alien is ultimately preventable. One victim is too many. It’s time for Congress to enact the president’s immigration reform agenda so that we start welcoming the best and brightest while turning away drug dealers, gang members, and other criminals.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen noted the Trump administration is taking action but the report shows “more must be done.”

“We will continue to pursue President Trump’s immigration priorities, including securing the border, enhancing interior enforcement, and pursuing a merit-based immigration system, but Congress must act immediately to adopt obvious solutions to strengthen DHS and DOJ efforts to confront dangerous criminal aliens,” Nielsen said in a statement Thursday

Days after his inauguration, Trump signed an executive order on public safety in the interior of the United States. Section 16 of the order directs the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department to “to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports” regarding the immigration status of all immigrants incarcerated under the supervision of the Bureau of Prisons; the immigration status of all aliens incarcerated as federal pretrial detainees, in some cases by the U.S. Marshals Service; and the immigration status of all convicted aliens in state prisons and local detention centers throughout the United States.

Senior administration officials said the departments are still working to obtain local and state data for future reports. Such information is critical because about 90 percent of the incarcerated population is in state and local prisons or jails.

A senior administration noted that a vast majority of murder, sex offenses and other serious crimes are prosecuted at the state and local level, which is another reason this information will be so important to obtain.

“As of September 28, 2017, a total of 24,476 confirmed aliens were housed in BOP facilities, and an additional 14,979 foreign-born individuals in BOP facilities remained under ICE investigation; together these known and suspected aliens accounted for 21 percent of all federal inmates in BOP custody,” the report says.

The report continues:

As of October 2, 2017, a total of 19,311 known and suspected aliens were housed in USMS facilities. Of the confirmed aliens in USMS custody, 66 percent (12,720) were unlawfully present, including 11,459 aliens (59 percent) with an administrative final order of removal and 1,261 aliens (6.5 percent) who were unlawfully present but pending adjudication in removal proceedings.

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Democrats’ Favored DACA Amnesty Bill Would Cost $26 Billion

The legislative replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program favored by most Democrats would add billions to the budget deficit, according to an estimate from Congress’ nonpartisan accounting shop.

The Congressional Budget Office released Friday its score of the Dream Act of 2017, a DACA amnesty bill that would provide legal permanent residence and, eventually, a path to citizenship for well over 1 million younger illegal immigrants. The CBO found that the Dream Act would increase the federal budget deficit by $26 billion over a decade, mostly by conferring eligibility for federal benefits to the amnestied immigrants.

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Introduced earlier this year by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the bill has become the DACA replacement of choice for congressional Democrats. Both Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have said they are committed to passing a “clean” Dream Act to legalize DACA recipients and other similarly situated illegal immigrants.

The Dream Act would direct the Department of Homeland Security to give lawful conditional status to illegal immigrants who were under 18 years old when they initially entered the U.S. and have lived here for at least four years prior to the bill’s enactment. Because of the Dream Act’s expansive eligibility criteria, the number of illegal immigrants who would benefit from the Dream Act is far higher than the DACA population of about 790,000.

The CBO estimates that about 2 million illegal immigrants would be granted conditional lawful permanent resident status under the Dream Act. “Roughly 1 million of the 1.6 million people receiving unconditional LPR status would become naturalized U.S. citizens during the 2018-2027 period,” the CBO cost estimate states.

Amnesty for that population would boost the deficit mainly through increased direct spending on Medicaid, health insurance subsidies, and food stamp benefits. On the revenue side, any tax gains from bringing illegal immigrants “on the books” would be largely offset because “increased reporting of employment income would result in increases in tax deductions by businesses,” according to the CBO’s estimate.

“As a result, corporations would report lower taxable profits and pay less in income taxes,” the CBO report added.

Democrats’ push for a “clean” Dream Act is unlikely to result in a DACA replacement before the end of the year, as immigration advocates and their allies on Capitol Hill have demanded.

Though Republicans have expressed support for crafting a legislative fix, both the White House and immigration hawks in Congress have insisted that any DACA replacement bill include border security enhancements and deeper reforms such as limits on chain migration and ending the Diversity Visa Lottery.

Republican leadership has also rejected the idea of including Dream Act provisions in the 2018 spending bill, which is due Friday.

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Arrests of MS-13 Members, Associates Up 83% Under Trump

President Donald Trump called Friday for reforming and strictly enforcing immigration law, in light of the failed terror attack in New York and increased crime across the country committed by violent gangs.

Trump said he had directed federal law enforcement to work with local police to “destroy criminal cartels, like the savages of MS-13,” and that this year there has been a 83 percent increase in arrests of MS-13 members and associates.

MS-13 is violent transnational gang whose motto is “kill, rape, control.”

“To any member of MS-13 listening, I have a message for you: We will find you. We will arrest you. We will jail you. We will throw you the hell out of the country,” Trump said, speaking at the graduation ceremony for the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

“I mean, somehow, I like it better than jail. Jail, we have to take care of them. Who the hell wants to take care of them? … But these are killers, these are people that are sadists in many cases. We don’t want them.”

The president also called for ending sanctuary cities, localities that refuse to assist federal immigration authorities.

“Our cities should not be sanctuaries for criminals; they should be sanctuaries for Americans,” Trump said. “It is our duty to serve the hard-working citizens of our country who raise our families, cherish our values, salute our flag, and make this land our home.”

Trump is pushing Congress to replace chain migration–the typical name for allowing people to enter the country based on having extended family in the country–with a merit-based system to provide needed job skills.

“Terrorists have struck in the streets and subways of New York City twice in a few months,” Trump said. “Both terrorists came to our country through the dysfunctional immigration system that we are correcting, and rapidly. And one came through chain migration — chain migration; the other, visa lottery.”

Trump wants to get rid of the diversity lottery system, which gives a randomized group of up to 50,000 immigrants a green card each year.

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Unmoved by Terror Attack, Congress Is Doing Nothing to Scrap the Diversity Visa Lottery

Capitol Hill’s national security priorities are screwier than a Six Flags roller coaster.

Instead of immediately shutting down one of America’s stupidest visa programs, which helped bring us yet another murder-minded jihadist this week, bipartisan Beltway politicians are pushing to preserve and expand the illegal immigration pipeline.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress want a “fix” for the Obama administration’s executive amnesty covering nearly 700,000 illegal immigrants—and they want it pronto.

Translation: Protecting border-hopping “Dreamers” is a more important priority in Washington than protecting Americans from infiltrators exploiting the Diversity Visa Lottery.

You remember the hew and cry over the Diversity Visa Lottery, right? It was just seven short weeks ago when America discovered that New York City truck jihadist Sayfullo Saipov, who ruthlessly mowed down eight people on a bike path, had entered our country from Uzbekistan in 2010 by pure, random luck through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program.

President Donald Trump called on Congress to end it.

Saipov followed in the footsteps of Hesham Hadayet, the Egyptian-born LAX jihadist who gunned down two people at Israel’s El Al airlines counter in 2002 and gained entry through his lottery-winning wife; Imran Mandhai, the Pakistan-born jihadist who plotted National Guard armory bombings in Florida and gained entry through his parents’ lottery luck; Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, another Uzbek jihadist and lottery winner convicted of supporting terrorism; Syed Ahmed, a Pakistan-born jihadist and diversity visa recipient convicted of terrorism-related activities in the U.S. and abroad in 2009; and Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, a Hamas leader deported for terrorism activities in 1997 who had snagged a green card thanks to the Diversity Visa Lottery Program’s original iteration.

Up to 55,000 lucky winners a year have secured permanent residency visas (green cards) through the Diversity Visa Lottery since 1990, which put them on the path to American citizenship ahead of millions of other foreigners patiently waiting to come to this country.

The green card lotto winners’ spouses and unmarried children under 21 all get lottery passes into the country, too, no matter where they were born. Chain migration extends the families’ winnings. And so on, and so on, and so on.

As I’ve reported tirelessly since 9/11, when counterterrorism experts and immigration watchdogs united against the fraud-riddled, ill-conceived Diversity Visa Lottery, applicants don’t even need a high school education.

No outstanding abilities, training, or job skills are necessary. Illegal aliens are eligible if a legal family member wins the jackpot. Tens of thousands are pouring in from terrorism breeding grounds through the lottery unvetted, unmonitored, and unassimilated.

Justice Department investigators recently discovered one Somali woman who won the Diversity Visa Lottery and subsequently recruited an entire fake family, including a phony husband and two fictitious adult children, all of whom came to the United States and later gained U.S. citizenship based on their false claims.

A U.N. probe found human traffickers forcing dozens of Diversity Visa Lottery winners into listing young female sex slaves as their “family members” to gain entry in the U.S.

And a State Department official testified in 2011 that in Bangladesh, “one agent is reported to have enrolled an entire phone book so that he could then either extort money from winning applicants who had never entered the program to begin with or sell their winning slots to others.”

As usual, however, Congress has done precisely nothing to stop the ruinous racket created by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and signed off by President George H.W. Bush as a social engineering experiment to admit more “underrepresented” immigrant minorities into the U.S.

The latest bill containing an end to the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, the RAISE Act, sponsored by Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., is gathering dust. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley’s latest call to the State Department for a “full-scale” review has yielded no movement.

And now, here we are, with yet another Diversity Visa Lottery beneficiary in custody for yet another jihad attack. Bangladeshi Akayed Ullah arrived here with a golden ticket obtained through a relative who won the visa lottery.

Before strapping on his failed suicide vest on Monday in an attempt to inflict “maximum destruction” on commuters at the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal, Ullah was the minor child of a sibling of the original ticket holder, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Seven weeks ago, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., smugly tweeted to the president that the Diversity Visa Lottery Program would have been killed if only the Gang of Eight illegal alien amnesty had been signed into law.

In D.C., you see, stupid government programs will only die if hitched to even bigger, more reckless legislative abominations. Washington priorities at work.

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Latest ICE Operation Snaps Up 101 Illegal Immigrants, Mostly Criminals, in New Jersey

Federal agents arrested more than 100 foreign nationals wanted for immigration violations in a five-day operation in New Jersey, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Tuesday.

The operation, led by ICE’s enforcement and removal division, netted a total of 101 illegal immigrants who were either criminal aliens, had illegally re-entered the country after being deported, or had an outstanding order of removal.

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Immigration officials said 88 percent of those arrested were convicted criminals and 80 percent of them had prior felony convictions for crimes including sexual assault of a minor, possession of child pornography, and aggravated assault.

“The continued results of our Fugitive Operations officers and their law enforcement partners underscore ICE’s ongoing and steady commitment to public safety,” John Tsoukaris, field office director of Enforcement and Removal Operations Newark, said in a statement. “As part of this operation, we continue focus on the arrest of individuals who are criminal and are a threat to public safety and national security.”

The New Jersey operation is the latest in a series of major operations by the increasingly aggressive immigration enforcement agency, which President Donald Trump has empowered as a part of his crackdown on illegal immigration. In a departure from the previous administration’s guidelines, nearly anyone illegally present in the U.S. is now subject to arrest and deportation, regardless of criminal history.

That guidance has led to a surge in interior arrests in the first nine months of the Trump administration. From January to the end of the fiscal year 2017, Sept. 30, ICE made about 110,000 arrests—40 percent more than in did during the same period in 2016.

About a quarter of ICE arrests in fiscal year 2017 were of so-called noncriminal aliens, or illegal immigrants who had not been convicted of other crimes. Critics of the administration’s immigration policies say these arrests are unfairly targeting illegal immigrants who don’t pose a threat to public safety.

Immigrant advocates and some local judicial officials have also complained about the practice of arresting immigration fugitives in courthouses, saying it interferes with the justice system and creates mistrust between law enforcement and immigrant communities.

ICE officials have pushed back against the accusation that the agency is indiscriminately targeting all illegal immigrants regardless of criminality. Ninety-two percent of aliens arrested between Jan. 20 and Sept. 30 had a criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge, had an outstanding order of removal, or had illegally re-entered the U.S. after being deported, acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said last week.

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As Immigration Arrests Increase Under Trump, So Do Border Crossings by Unaccompanied Minors

The Trump administration counts the overall successes in curbing illegal immigration as “another success,” but since May there has been an increase of families and unaccompanied children illegally coming across the border.

“These are 60,000 American patriots that choose this profession to defend this country,” Thomas Homan says.

Some experts attribute this to the talk of amnesty for so-called “Dreamers,” or illegal immigrants brought into the country as minors.

The Department of Homeland Security released its final numbers for fiscal year 2017 that spanned the final months of Barack Obama’s presidency and the first nine months of Donald Trump’s presidency, October 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017. The federal government arrested almost 40 percent more illegal immigrants inside the country in the past fiscal year.

The reports were from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, charged with arresting illegal immigrants already in the country, and Customs and Border Patrol, which is charged with preventing illegal border crossings.

“I think it shows, probably, the effectiveness of the Trump presidency and another success story as we wrap up the year and certainly something that could be looked at,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “But I think the need for the border wall and border security, as well as responsible immigration reform, still stands. And we still need to look at all the ways that we can protect our national security, and we still feel strongly that that’s one of them.”

The reports demonstrate policy changes matter, said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, a pro-enforcement immigration think tank.

She found overall trends to be positive, but stressed it will take time to address illegal crossings by families and unaccompanied children.

The more than 150,000 combined arrests for families and unaccompanied minors in fiscal year 2017 is significant, Vaughan told The Daily Signal.

“Court rulings greatly constrain what ICE can do,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan said children can’t be detained, based on court rulings, and in most cases, neither can parents.

“At the end of the day we’re still operating a catch-and-release program,” she said. “If you make it into the U.S., you can stay for an indefinite period. If you don’t show up for your hearing, nothing will happen.”

She further said this problem ties into the debate over a fix on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields from deportation about 800,000 illegal immigrants brought into the country as minors. That’s because talk of an amnesty will encourage more young people to try to illegally cross, Vaughan said.

“If they don’t know all the details, that’s probably even more of an incentive,” Vaughan said.

The Trump administration has done a great job in letting ICE agents do their job and increasing interior enforcement, said David Inserra, homeland security analyst for The Heritage Foundation.

However, the CBP numbers showing the increase of families and unaccompanied minors crossing the border can be attributed in part to the fact that by May, illegal immigrants didn’t see the crackdown some thought would be immediate, Inserra said.

“We are seeing a better message sent than with the last administration, but because we haven’t seen enough change, we are starting to see the numbers creep up,” Inserra told The Daily Signal. “After a few months, illegal immigrants began to believe it’s not going to be as we thought.”

Talk of DACA is also a problem, he added.

“They are hearing and being told by less scrupulous people that the U.S. is going to have an amnesty, and Donald Trump himself is OK with it,” Inserra said. “An amnesty never sends the right message.”

Interior Enforcement

ICE conducted 143,470 arrests and 226,119 removals in the past fiscal year. Of that, 110,568 of those arrests came from the start of the Trump administration through the end of the fiscal year. That’s up from 77,806 arrests in the entire fiscal year 2016. Removals increased by 37 percent from fiscal year 2016.

The number of deportations declined by 6 percent, 240,255 in fiscal year 2016 to 226,119 in fiscal year 2017. ICE attributes the decline to more border apprehensions.

Of the arrests, 92 percent, or 101,722, were of illegal immigrants who had criminal convictions or illegally re-entered the country.

“I’ve read a lot of stories and comments over the past several months falsely accusing ICE of conducting indiscriminate raids and sweeps, arresting people at churches, arresting people at hospitals. I repeatedly said that is false,” ICE acting Director Thomas Homan said at a press conference Tuesday. “We conduct targeted enforcement operations. Every person we arrest, we know exactly who we are going to arrest and where we’re going to arrest them, based on a lot of investigative intelligence data.”

Homan reacted strongly against criticism of ICE agents.

“We get allegations every day against the fine men and women of ICE. It’s really sad the vilification of these men and women, men and women of the Border Patrol,” Homan said. “These are people who chose a profession; no one is getting rich in this job. But they strap a gun to their hip every day to protect their communities, leave the safety and security of their homes and their families to defend this nation. The last thing they need is vilification from these activist groups. These are 60,000 American patriots that choose this profession to defend this country.”

Border Enforcement

The CBP apprehended 310,531, a 23.7 percent decline from fiscal year 2016. With regard to Trump’s time in office, the CBP shows that border crossing along the southwest border declined from Jan. 21—a day after Trump’s inauguration—through April.

Starting in May, the numbers climbed with families and unaccompanied children who were apprehended or determined to be inadmissible cases. The CBP apprehended 104,997 families along the southwest border and 48,681 unaccompanied children.

“We remain concerned about the steady flow of unaccompanied children and family units from Central America,” CBP acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello said in the Tuesday press conference. “This trend is enabled by legal and policy loopholes, which are exploited by transnational criminal organizations engaged in human smuggling and trafficking.”

Assaults on CBP agents and officers increased by 44.8 percent to 847 in 2017, Vitiello said. But CBP law enforcement officers’ use of firearms declined to a record low of 17 times, a 69 percent drop from a high of 55 in 2012.

Vitiello addressed the need for greater enforcement, including a border wall.

“In response to the president’s executive order on border security and immigration enforcement improvement, subsequent guidance form the Department of Homeland Security, CBP selected six contractors to build eight wall prototypes on the border near San Diego,” he said. “Construction began in September and was concluded in October. We have begun testing in the evaluation phase. We know however that the wall is part of a larger enforcement security system, so we are committed to using new technologies to augment our resources and employ sensors, lighting, radar and fixed and mobile towers.”

Francis Cissna, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, touted the need for implementing Trump’s immigration priorities going into 2018, which he said would protect the U.S. economy and national security.

“Among these priorities are ending extended family migration, ending asylum abuse, and shifting a merit-based immigration system,” Cissna said. “Preliminary data for fiscal year 2017 shows that 2 out of 3 of our 1 million-plus immigrants were admitted in family-based categories. Only 66,000 out of that 1 million lawful permanent residents were admitted based on their skills.”

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National Sheriffs’ Association Backs Sessions in Push to Defund Sanctuary Cities

The National Sheriffs’ Association came out in favor of the Department of Justice Thursday in Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ push to withhold funds from Chicago and other sanctuary cities.

The sheriffs’ association—which represents more than 3,000 sheriffs nationwide—will file an amicus brief in support of the DOJ in ongoing litigation between Sessions and the city of Chicago.

Chicago sued the DOJ in August over Sessions’ order to withhold certain funding grants from sanctuary cities. The city won the case in September, but the DOJ has appealed the decision. Notably, the judge’s September ruling included a nationwide injunction on Sessions’ order, which effectively blocked funds from reaching non-sanctuary jurisdictions as well.

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“The problem we have is not so much about sanctuary cities,” Jonathan Thompson, executive director and CEO of the National Sheriffs’ Association, said. “It’s that the political actions of one jurisdiction should never affect thousands of other counties. That’s what’s happening here and we find that objectionable.”

The actual federal grants involved are the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants. Chicago received $2.3 million in Byrne funding in 2016 and has applied for $2.2 million in 2017.

The DOJ hopes to impose requirements that, in order to be eligible for funding, cities must share immigration status data with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, not bar ICE officials access to police stations, and give ICE officials 48 hours’ notice before releasing illegal immigrants from detainment.

Chicago argues the requirements are unconstitutional and that Sessions has no authority to impose them.

“The executive branch of the federal government may not arrogate to itself the powers that our Constitution reserves for Congress, on the one hand, or to state and local governments on the other,” the lawsuit said. “It may not concoct … sweeping new policy conditions that were never approved by Congress and that would federalize local jails and police stations.”

The National Sheriffs’ Association has until Dec. 15 to file an official amicus brief to the 7th District Court.

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