By: Savannah Smith | 04-20-2017 | News
Photo credit: Suzanne Szarai |

Obama Left Deportation Forces in a Sorry State

Report Says Obama Made A Mess At DHS Causing Huge Problems With Illegal Immigrants

President Donald Trump made the security of American a top campaign promise and a priority in his administration, and one of his ways to ensure such safety is to fight illegal immigration. A new report by the Homeland Security reveals this administration has its work cut out for it, because the Obama administration has left the government's deportation force in such a mess.

The Homeland Security inspector general found out that Obama allowed deportation officers to be so overloaded with the cases they were handling that they predictably lost track of the important ones. The effect of such is that it left illegal immigrants to freely roam communities- and for others to even commit crimes- when they should have been sent back to their home countries.

The problem was said to have gotten so bad that officers may even be losing track of national security cases. The huge increase in illegal immigrants under Obama also contributed to the worsening problem, creating serious backlog in the cases the officers were handling. It was revealed that officers in D.C. were averaging 10,000 cases per person while deportation cases in Atlanta were dealing with 5,000 average cases assigned to each officer. So humanly impossible the situation was that it prompted one officer to tell the inspector general that even if they work 18 hours a day, they still won't be able to catch up with the serious backlog.

President Trump could find more justification for his proposal to have a massive deportation force to speed up the arrest and deportation of illegal immigrants with the new report. The President also called for a big expansion in detention beds, so more illegal immigrants can be held to make it easier to deport them.

The process of deporting an illegal immigrant is complex because it requires the home country to issue travel documents- and many times the home countries are not cooperative, if not outright resistant, and simply refuse to take back their troubled citizens. Overloaded agents had no choice but to let such cases go, leaving illegal immigrants free to roam the American streets.

Such difficult dynamics bring to mind the case of a Jean Jacques from Haiti two years ago. He was released from prison after serving time for attempted murder, but Haiti refused to take him back later, vehemently questioning whether Jacques was really Haitian. The U.S. had no choice but to allow him to stay in the country, and months after his release from prison, Jacques killed an innocent young woman after a drug dispute with her boyfriend. The Jacques case led to several reviews that identified a series of breakdowns at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( ICE).

Officers both handle immigrants who are in detention and those that were released back into the communities, the latter proving tougher to manage.

The inspector general said the surge of illegal immigrants under President Obama contributed heavily to the work overload. The ICE also did a poor job of spreading the work around, which made some officers worse-off than others.The staffing problem became worse also with the Obama administration's decision to transfer officers to the southwest to deal with the surge from Central America, overloading officers in the interior of the country. The audit found the problem to be so serious that ICE is likely losing track of illegal immigrants, even those who pose danger to the national security.

The inspector general said ICE does not have clear guidance on how cases should be prioritized and properly managed. ICE officially responded to the report and accepted all five of the inspector general's recommendations, including updating and issuing guidance to officers, rejiggering its caseload, standardizing training and trying to figure out ways to work better with foreign nations.

Trump has already taken steps to reverse the failures of the previous administration, including the crucial signing of an executive order calling for a tripling of ICE's workforce, and an expansion of detention space. Trump has also made the tough call to warn foreign countries that refuse to take back their illegal immigrants will face penalties in existing law. Obama and Bush were both reluctant to use such powers during their presidencies, arguing that such could harm foreign relations.

More than being politically correct, it seems that President Trump just knows his priorities.


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