ICE chief gives mind-boggling stats: Will take 140 yrs to clear ‘backlog’ of illegal immigrants after border surge

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed a list of statistics that showed the staggering effect of the surge on America’s borders.

The acting director of ICE made the case for an increased budget for fiscal year 2021 on Wednesday, explaining that it would take 140 years to remove all of the illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. in the past two years.

(Image: CBS NY screenshot)

“As numbers continue to climb, they will continue to outpace ICE’s inabilities to swiftly remove individuals,” Matt Albence told the House Appropriations Committee, Fox News reported.

“We arrested about 2,500 non-criminal fugitives last year. If we do that, based on just the numbers that came in the last two years, it would take us about 140 years to clear up that backlog,” he said, explaining that 900,000 non-detained cases had been added to the ICE docket in the border surge that occurred in the last two years, for a total to 3.3 million.

Last year, Albence shared, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal officers arrested 143,000 aliens. Of that number, 123,000 had been criminally convicted or had pending criminal charges which included 1,900 homicides, 5,000 sexual assaults, 1800 kidnappings, 45,000 assaults, 67,000 drug charges and 74,000 DUIs.

“123,000 accounted for almost half a million crimes,” he added. “That’s almost four criminal offenses for each person we put in custody.”

The proposed budget requested an increase in the number of beds in detention facilities to 60,000, which is approximately 15,000 more beds than Congress approved for the current fiscal year and many more than the 34,000 beds available in the final years of the Obama administration.

“Without additional resources to actually effectuate a judge’s removal orders, we will have an immigration enforcement and court system in which billions of dollars a year are spent to obtain orders, that are not worth the paper they are written on,” Albence told the House Appropriations Committee.

While many “individuals have the right to due process,” Albence noted, the “vast majority” of them “do not have claims which meet asylum,” adding that “there is no disincentive” for immigrants to continue to file appeals even after they have been ordered to be removed.

“So this is not about asylum, this is about the release. Most of these individuals want to come here because they know regardless if the get a removal order, regardless if they show up to court, if they don’t have a detention bed at the time the removal order is issued, the likelihood of them actually being removed from the country is nill.” he said.

The acting ICE chief was questioned by both Republicans and Democrats about the need for the increased spending.

“I would hope your priority would be the bad guys, there are a lot of bad guys,” Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland said, asking Albence about the number of migrants being detained in facilities who have no criminal history.

“It looks so much better. I came out feeling optimistic,” Rep. Kay Granger said, noting how her own visit to the border affected her.

“This report is not optimistic,” the Texas Republican added. “More and more money … don’t you have to stop at some point and say is this the right process?”

Actor James Woods tweeted a link to a report on Albence’s budget request, noting the astonishing numbers cited by the agency.

His tweet prompted many responses, including from Angel Mom Mary Ann Mendoza, whose son was killed by an illegal immigrant drunk driver in 2014.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
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Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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