Some 188,380 criminal illegal immigrants were deported in fiscal 2011 — and 86,699 of them, or 46 percent, had been deported earlier and had illegally returned to the United States.
According to the Office of Immigration Statistics, 23 percent of the criminals deported that year had committed drug-related offenses, 20 percent had committed criminal traffic offenses — mostly DUI — 12 percent had committed a violent crime, and another 7 percent committed larceny, fraud, or burglary.
“It cannot be ascertained from the available data how many of the 86,699 previously deported criminals committed new crimes other than their illegal return, but unless they were detained shortly after re-entering the United States, it is likely that they came to the attention of the immigration authorities as a result of new crimes (committed after their illegal re-entry) for which they were convicted or arraigned,” stated a report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
“The 46 percent may also be understated due to reclassification of criminal deportees. Thus existing data indicate that a minimum of 46 percent of the 2011 criminal deportees were previously deported and returned to the United States.”
Another 43,307 deportees who had been deported earlier and returned were not categorized as criminals, even though illegal re-entry to the United States by a deportee is a felony under federal law.
“The high percentage of repeat deportees is due in part to the ease of re-entry to the United States for earlier deportees and the knowledge that if apprehended there is only a small chance that they will serve any prison time for illegal re-entry,” the CIS observed.
The CIS also noted that once a deportee re-enters the country illegally, “in nearly all cases the deportee will go undetected unless charged with another crime or if the deportee returns to his old neighborhood and is recognized by local law enforcement officials. Thus the number of deportees who make an illegal re-entry is possibly much higher than indicated.”
The CIS concludes: “The extent of our revolving door for deported criminal illegal immigrants points to failures in securing our nation’s borders. These failures do not bode well for our future ability to intercept known and unknown terrorists who try to gain access to our country.”