As more than two million migrants were encountered attempting to cross the U.S. border with Mexico this fiscal year — and with midterm elections looming in the not-so-distant future — the White House tried to get Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deport more illegal immigrants, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reportedly been dragging its feet, expressing more concern for “optics” than with actual homeland security.
According to three Los Angeles Times sources with knowledge of the situation, White House officials spent the spring trying to convince ICE to deport more migrants under the “dedicated docket” program, which centers on families that have recently made it over the border.
The dedicated docket was launched by DHS in May 2021 with the aim of cutting the time it takes for immigration cases to make their way through the courts. Rather than wait several years for a case to be heard, under the dedicated docket program, cases can be heard in about twelve months.
“Some within the administration saw it as a way to deter people from entering the U.S. by quickly executing deportation orders,” The Times explains.
‘There is no morale’: Border Patrol says ‘things are worst they have ever been’ under Biden https://t.co/t1FoV5TwuV
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) June 15, 2022
More than 11,000 deportation orders have been issued since the expedited process began, and according to internal data obtained by the Times, about 150 migrants have been deported.
Also obtained by the Times is an internal DHS document that reveals the agency’s concerns for its image resulted in a failure to increase the deportations, even as, the sources say, the White House continued to apply pressure to do so.
“Picking up a kicking and screaming child while mom and/or dad are restrained and ushered to the transport vehicle will not improve public perception of ICE or views around immigration enforcement,” the document stated.
Questioned about the report by Fox News Digital, a White House spokesperson replied that the Biden administration is “committed to enforcing our immigration laws in a safe, orderly, and humane way.”
“This includes working to process asylum claims expeditiously, granting relief where it is merited, and removing those found not to have a legal basis to remain in the United States,” the spokesperson said.
It’s the latest frustrating revelation about the border crisis in a list of frustrations with the Biden administration’s failure to handle the situation that feels nearly as long as the border itself.
As American Wire reported, calls for a new version of the illegally-created DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) can already be heard from media outlets in response to the 257,000 unaccompanied migrant children that have crossed the border since Biden took office.
“The number of children who have come to the U.S. alone during Biden’s tenure is far beyond anything seen before, including the migration surges of children during the Obama and Trump administrations,” the Washington Examiner wrote, “cueing the need” for DACA 2.0.
‘Next generation of DACA’: Biden admin releases 257K unaccompanied migrant children into US https://t.co/JiPqD2Jlnb
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) August 21, 2022
And while it may have been pushing the agency to deport more migrants in the spring, the Biden administration made it somewhat of a mission to roll back all Trump-era border policies and narrowed ICE’s ability to make arrests and deportations.
According to Fox News Digital, “In FY 21, ICE arrested 74,082 noncitizens and deported 59,011 — down from 103,603 arrests and 185,884 removals in FY 20 and 143,099 arrests and 267,258 deportations in FY 19.”
In January, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas even boasted to CBS that the administration had “fundamentally changed immigration enforcement in the interior,” though, by June, the guidelines would be blocked as a result of a lawsuit filed by Republican states.
“For the first time ever,” he said before his bubble was burst, “our policy explicitly states that a non-citizen’s unlawful presence in the United States will not, by itself, be a basis for the initiation of an enforcement action.”
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