It was fairly common knowledge that former President Barack Obama and his administration held a rather dim view on enforcing our nation’s immigration laws, but a set of new reports and analysis has offered some incredibly revealing numbers to support just how bad it was.
At the request of Congress, the Government Accountability Office issued a lengthy report in June detailing the massive backlog of deportation cases awaiting adjudication in our nation’s immigration courts, estimated at well over 400,000 cases pending as of the start of 2015, a number likely much closer to 600,000 by now.
The Center for Immigration Studies tackled that thick GAO report in July and offered up its own analysis of the case backlog — including what had caused the problem and how it could best be addressed — and what the analysis revealed was nothing short of stunning.
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In fact, one thing in particular from the GAO report was so shocking that it merited a separate report of its own from the CIS: the number of immigration cases that had simply been administratively closed; as in, no decision rendered and the case shelved indefinitely, which likely means the case backlog is even higher than has been previously estimated.
That CIS report revealed that the number of immigration cases that had been administratively closed over the past several years — at least 100,000, but possibly as many as 200,000 — had grown significantly due to Obama administration policies, such as the warped view of “prosecutorial discretion” or the de-prioritization of certain classes of illegal immigrants.
It should be clear that administrative closures aren’t really part of any regulatory statute, but rather “is merely an administrative convenience” that allows for judges to temporarily shelve cases they don’t have time for or simply don’t feel like handling. It is worth noting that those cases can be re-opened later though.
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As to the true number of administrative closures that took deportation cases off the docket while allowing illegal immigrants to continue living in the U.S. without legal status, former immigration judge and CIS report author Andrew R. Arthur told the Washington Examiner, “I believe that the Obama administration’s use of the practice may have ‘cooked the books’ as it relates to the true number of cases that are pending adjudication before the immigration courts.”
“The good news,” Arthur wrote in his report, “is that the Trump administration has reversed the practice of administrative closure of cases that are not a priority, and has effectively eliminated prioritization as well, returning ‘prosecutorial discretion’ to its proper role as a law-enforcement tool to be used on a case-by-case basis, not a blanket abdication of authority.”
This information strongly refutes the laughable claims put forward by some that Obama was serious about deporting illegal immigrants, and proves instead that he had little interest in actually enforcing laws he didn’t like, all while helping to flood the country with hundreds of thousands of low-skilled immigrants with little or no knowledge of the English language or American customs — people who are ultimately a burden on taxpayers by receiving the benefits of hospitals, schools, and government handouts of all sorts.
Thankfully that is changing now, and America once again has a president who will uphold the laws as they are, which means swiftly adjudicating and deporting immigrants who are in the country illegally.
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