With no immigration reform from Congress, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is set to deport one million illegal aliens who’ve been denied asylum or are considered dangerous.
President Trump had set a two-week deadline for Congress to come up with asylum reforms on June 22. Now, ICE is “ready to just perform their mission, which is to go and find, detain and then deport the approximately one million people who have final removal orders,” acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Ken Cuccinelli said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday.
“They’ve been all the way through the due process and have final removal orders,” he said of the targeted immigrants.
Cuccinelli said the deportation halt had clogged the immigration system, and was contributing to massive numbers of immigrants being detained at border facilities.
ICE is the “second stage of the border crisis,” Cuccinelli said. “We focus so much on the Border Patrol. But the reason you see overcrowding in those facilities is because they can’t be moved to the facilities where they were expected to go.”
Those ICE facilities “themselves are over capacity,” he added. “The whole pipeline is clogged, and ICE is backing up the Border Patrol in the southwest border.”
Trump on Friday had hinted deportations would start “fairly soon,” but the numbers the administration aimed to deport were never revealed.
Deportation figures were higher under President Barack Obama, when about 410,000 illegal aliens were sent home in 2012, according to reports. So far, Trump has deported a little more than half that number annually.
Trump claimed last month he’d soon be deporting “millions,” but it was not clear how that would get carried out given current immigration staffing levels.
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