The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee stressed that the Obama administration is inflating its deportation statistics by counting illegal immigrants seized at the border and immediately sent back.
The administration often notes to critics of illegal immigration that it has deported more people than the Bush administration did, drawing consternation from immigrant-rights groups.
But Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) noted on CNN that the administration’s claim of record deportations is “not true.”
“First of all, they’re counting people that they apprehend at the border and send back immediately. The Bush administration didn’t even count those numbers. So about two-thirds of their total number are simply people that come across, they don’t go through a deportation process, they’re simply sent back. They now count them as a deportation,” Goodlatte said.
“And if you look at the numbers for the interior of the country, they’re down more than 70 percent during the Obama administration and the number of criminal aliens on the streets are up 28 percent.”
Goodlatte says he wants several immigration bills that have passed his committee brought to the floor of the House. He wants to cut off federal funds to cities that are not cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“I want to see the 276 or so sanctuary cities that have actually taken a public policy to not cooperate with the immigration service to enforce our laws back away from those policies, encourage their police departments and sheriff’s departments to cooperate with the federal government and make sure that we get these criminal aliens,” the chairman said. “There are now 350,000 of them that are either under orders of deportation or in a deportation hearing process where they have been released back into the community. And they commit thousands of crimes every year.”
“The sanctuary cities released 8,000 last year and already they’ve committed nearly 1,900 new crimes. The federal government, you know, they need the cooperation of sanctuary cities, but we also mostly need the enforcement of the law by the Obama administration. They released 30,000 criminal aliens last year back onto our streets.”
Goodlatte noted “we have 34,000 beds to hold people for deportation purposes and we’re not using all of those beds.”
“If the administration were enforcing the law, we would have less of this problem,” he said, adding that local governments “should cooperate with the federal government and they should make sure that when they have someone who is a criminal, illegal alien, that they call somebody and say, help us get this person out of our community, not just release them back out onto the street.”
“Yes, we have bills in the Congress that we want to move forward on. I’m very anxious to do that. But also it’s important to note that the Obama administration and these cities need to do everything that they can do right now under the law and much of the problem will be solved by that. Not all of it, but much of it.”