Written by: John Morton, Director, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Too often, political posturing rather than facts dominates the debate surrounding immigration. But when you look at the facts, including record-breaking statistics, our record shows this Administration is serious about sensible and tough enforcement.
Let’s start with the facts. As required by federal law, one of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) primary missions is to remove illegal aliens from this country. Under this Administration, ICE has focused its efforts on removing criminal aliens, recent border entrants, and immigration fugitives. The results have been unprecedented. Last fiscal year, ICE removed a record 389,000 illegal aliens from the United States, 136,000 of whom were criminals. So far this fiscal year, we have removed a record 170,000 criminals and have placed more people—criminal and non-criminal--in immigration proceedings than ever before.
The recent expansion of Secure Communities, which uses biometrics to identify criminal aliens in local jails and prisons, has significantly increased the number of criminal aliens subject to removal. To ensure these individuals who have been convicted of crimes such as assault, arson, drug trafficking, burglary, drunk-driving, do not pose further danger to our communities, ICE has implemented a policy to expedite the removal of convicted criminal aliens and ensure these cases are prioritized by our courts. Simply put, this is a common sense solution to ensure convicted criminal aliens are not released into our communities and address the record backlogs cases our courts currently have pending.