U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement asking for an explanation as to how the agencies claim a record number of illegal aliens were deported in 2011.
On Oct. 18, ICE claimed credit for deporting a "record" 397,000 illegal aliens during the fiscal year (which ended Sept. 30). But President Obama himself admitted that number does not reflect reality.
According to CNN, the president told a group of Hispanic journalists, "The statistics are actually a little deceptive."There has been "a much greater emphasis on criminals than non-criminals," the president said, and "with stronger border enforcement, we've been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours." ("Obama's deportation record: inside the numbers, CNN.com, Oct. 19, 2011)
Additionally, ICE delayed reporting the 2010 deportations of 19,000 illegal aliens, instead adding them to the 2011 number, according to U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"ICE claims there were a record number of deportations of illegal aliens in fiscal 2011, but the president says the number is "deceptive.' I'd like to hear the truth, and the American people deserve to hear the truth. Just a few months ago, the administration unilaterally changed American immigration policy when it said it would no longer deport "non-criminal' aliens. Then it released these statistics that claim the U.S. government is deporting a record number of illegal aliens. This sounds more like a public relations ploy than enforcement of our immigration laws," Rep. Barletta said. "When an illegal alien is stopped at the border, is this administration counting that as a "deportation'?"
"I would like Secretary Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton to explain how the administration calculated these "record' numbers. I know that in my district, in far too many cases, when local law enforcement officers catch illegal aliens, ICE tells them to let them go," Rep. Barletta added. "At a time when we're cutting waste, fraud, and abuse, the bureaucrats in Washington openly allow people to defraud the system. Millions of illegal aliens steal jobs from legal American workers, and the administration has given illegal aliens permission to stay and continue stealing those jobs. Ten million to 12 million jobs are being stolen by illegal aliens. Imagine if we could give 10 million unemployed Americans a job. Think about what that would do for their families, for their communities, and for our nation."