What you need to know about the deportation of illegal immigrants

There are many levels of concern and thought in the deportation of illegal aliens. But the facts support the arrest and deportation of criminals who are in the U.S. and causing harm to our communities and citizens.

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Image courtesy of ICE.Gov media images

WASHINGTON, February 12, 2017 — The facts about illegal immigration tell a different story than is reported in the mainstream media; clarification is warranted.

One of President Trump’s first executive orders included two multi-pronged orders on border security and immigration enforcement,

“including the authorization of a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the stripping of federal grant money to sanctuary cities; hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents; ending ‘catch-and-release’ policies for illegal immigrants and reinstating local and state immigration enforcement partnerships.”

Trump’s immigration order instructs ICE officers to deport persons convicted of crimes, and those who aren’t charged but are believed to have committed “acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”


Trump’s orders do not target the 750,000 young people qualified for President Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under DACA, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children are granted two years of permission to work and protection from deportation. DACA allows time for them to begin the process of becoming documented in the U.S.

In order to qualify for DACA, a young person must have arrived in the United States before June 15, 2007, completed high school or its equivalent, and have a record clear of anything beyond minor misdemeanors.

Trump has expressed sympathy for DACA-identified young people, suggesting a willingness to find a solution to their immigration problems. In his Man of the Year Times magazine interview, he said:

“I want Dreamers for our children also … We’re going to work something out. On a humanitarian basis it’s a very tough situation. We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud. But that’s a very tough situation.

“They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here … Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

The ICE.gov website highlights a recent deportee who was returned to Mexico under a Mexican arrest warrant:

“A Mexican man wanted for kidnapping in the State of Sinaloa, Mexico, was deported by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

“Sebastian Medina-Cuabras, aka Carlos Lopez-Barraza, 39,was transferred to the custody of representatives from Mexico’s Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR) and Mexican immigration officials by ERO officers at the Nogales (Arizona) DeConcini Port of Entry.

“According to the arrest warrant issued by Mexican authorities, Medina-Cuabras is wanted for a kidnapping where he and three other individuals organized, prepared and executed a ransom plot in August 1999.”

Also arrested by ICE and U.S. Immigration and its Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Newark Fugitive Operations team was Javier Atlixqueno-Vaquero, 37, a citizen of Mexico.

“Atlixqueno-Vaquero was arrested late Tuesday night after ERO identified Vaquero leaving his residence. Atlixqueno is a convicted felon for the crimes of sexual assault with a minor, felony sale of hallucinogen/narcotic controlled substance, and felony failure to appear.

“He was ordered removed by an immigration judge May 7, 2004 and was removed from the U.S. to Mexico May 19, 2004. Atlixqueno unlawfully re-entered the U.S. at an unknown date.

“Vaquero was recently added to ERO most wanted fugitives list.

A third deportee is Dominican national wanted for murder charges.

“Martires Molvan-Figeureo, 54, was escorted by ERO officers via an ICE Air Ops charter flight to Louisiana, where he then boarded a flight to the Dominican Republic, where he was turned over to local authorities.  He entered the United States legally, but failed to depart the U.S. as required.  Later the same month, Interpol issued a Red Notice for Molvan based on an arrest warrant issued on Oct. 16, 2013, by the Tribunal de Ejecucion de La Pena Court, San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, charging Molvan with murder.”

Last week’s deportations included nearly 200 persons in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina who were arrested during recent raids, according to ICE’s Atlanta field office. Los Angeles ICE officials report that 150 arrests were made during the weeklong operation.

“ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately,” Bryan Cox, ICE’s Southern region communications director, said in a statement last Saturday.

The recent deportations of illegal immigrants is one of President Trump’s chief campaign promises to keep American safe from criminal activity that comes with illegal immigration.

Immigration data provided to Congress by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement notes that 124 people who were released from immigration custody from 2010 to 2015 were later charged with murder.

“It’s not that 6 million people are priorities for removal, it is the dangerous criminals hiding among those millions who are no longer able to hide,” said a White House official  to the LA Times.

“We’ve gone from a situation where ICE officers have no discretion to enhance public safety and their hands are totally tied, to allowing ICE officers to engage in preventative policing and to go after known public safety threats and stop terrible crimes from happening.”

In 2014, the U.S. had a total population of 318.9 million people. Of those, 11.1 million were unauthorized immigrants.

Eight million of those 11.1 million are in, or trying to find work in the civilian labor force. They are found mostly in farming (26 percent) and construction (15 percent), but they are vastly outnumbered by American workers.

Of those 11.1 million illegal immigrants, 5.8 million were from Mexico, down from 6.4 million in 2009. However, the number of immigrants from nations other than Mexico grew by 325,000 since 2009, to nearly half of all illegal immigrants: 5.3 million.

There are over 200 sanctuary cities in the United States that ignore federal law when it comes to prosecuting illegal immigrants.

Cities, counties, and states that identify as havens have laws, ordinances, regulations, resolutions, policies, or other practices that obstruct immigration enforcement and shield criminals from ICE. They refuse to comply with ICE detainers, impose unreasonable conditions on detainer acceptance, deny ICE access to interview incarcerated aliens, or otherwise impede communication or information exchanges between their personnel and federal immigration officers.

For the reporting period of January 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, illegal immigrants were clustered mostly in Louisiana (sanctuary cities in New Orleans and Orleans Parish), Massachusetts (nine sanctuary cities including Boston), New Jersey (six sanctuary cities), Pennsylvania (17 sanctuary counties plus the city of Philadelphia), Virginia (sanctuary city Arlington and county Chesterfield) and Washington state (a mix of 26 cities and counties and including the South Correctional Entity Jail in King County). Pew Research notes a decrease in illegal alien populations in Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina.

President Obama restricted ICE’s use of detainers, or notices issued to another law enforcement agencies to detain for removal illegal immigrants arrested in the U.S. or with a prior criminal history. Detainers were created under President George W. Bush and used by Obama in his first term. His later decision to not enforce detainers seems to parallel the growth in sanctuary cities.

IN 2011, ICE issued 309,697 detainers, which droped to 95,085 in 2015.

TRAC Detainee Map

Syracuse University Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reports that action on ICE detainers issued before Trump’s inauguration is expected to surge under new administration policies.

In the Daily Caller, Kathryn Watson reported that at the end of President Obama’s second term,

“the outgoing Obama administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials began quietly hiding evidence revealing a huge increase in the number apprehended and incarcerated illegal aliens allowed go free, rather than face detention or deportation.”

In June, 2016, Jessica Vaughn at the Center for Immigration Studies reported (The Non-Departed: 925,000 Aliens Ordered Removed Are Still Here):

“Data obtained by the Senate Judiciary Committee following a hearing on the collapse of immigration enforcement reveals that a very large number of illegal aliens in the country have already had due process and been ordered removed, but are still living here in defiance of that order. As of a year ago, there were more than 925,000 aliens who had been ordered removed, but who had not departed (known as ICE’s “Post Final Order Docket”). About 20 percent of the non-departed aliens have at least one criminal conviction. Nearly all of these individuals — and nearly all of the convicted criminals — are at large, not in ICE custody. About 60 percent of the aliens come from just four countries: Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, as shown on the accompanying map. A disproportionate number of the non-departed criminal aliens are citizens of Cuba.”

Casey Chadwick, image courtesy of family

Deportation of undocumented aliens is further complicated by their home countries, which often refuse to allow people deported from the U.S. to return. One U.S. victim of uncooperative countries was Casey Chadwick, murdered by Haitian citizen Jean Jacques.

Jacques is a convicted criminal who had previously served time for murder before fatally stabbing Chadwick. ICE tried unsuccessfully three times to deport Jacques, but they had no paperwork proving he was Haitian. Haiti refused to take him back. He murdered Chadwick in 2015 after being released from detention. He has since been sentenced to 60 years in prison at American taxpayer cost.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley says that DHS has identified 23 countries that are “uncooperative” in accepting deported persons, further noting that cooperation with 62 others countries is “strained.” This lead to ICE releasing more than 2,000 criminal aliens back into the population in 2015.

The Supreme Court ruled in Zadvydas v. Davis (2001) that with few exceptions, ICE may not keep aliens in custody for longer than 180 days, making it difficult to hold them.

Danny Centeno Miranda, image courtesy of family

Another problem for ICE and DHS is that undocumented immigrants rarely appear for deportation hearings, instead absconding into the U.S.  Without serious criminal charges pending against them, they were not considered as a deportation priority under President Obama. Killed by three such illegal alien youths in 2015 was 17-year-old Danny Centeno-Miranda of Loudoun County, Va. His killers reportedly failed to appear for their immigration court hearings about one month before the murder and were ordered removed. Had they been held pending their deportation hearing, they would not have had the opportunity to kill Centeno-Miranda.

Kate Steinle, image courtesy of family

The final challenge for immigration officials is the plethora of sanctuary cities. The most well-publicized failure of sanctuary cities to keep Americans safe is the murder of San Francisco native Kate Steinle, who was randomly murdered by Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez. Sanchez was scheduled to be deported after serving time in federal prison on drug charges.

Instead of turning Sanchez over to ICE for deportation, authorities released him into the population. The result was the random shooting of Steinle while she stood next to her father on a crowded San Francisco pier.

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