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Nearly 900,000 Illegals with Removal Orders Still in U.S.--167,000 Are Convicted Criminals

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | October 15, 2014 | 9:18 AM EDT

Nearly 900,000 illegal aliens who have received a final order of removal are still in the United States - and about 167,000 of these are convicted criminals who were released by ICE and are currently at large, a new analysis of government data by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) shows.

According to the CIS's review,of a leaked Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) document, 883,000 total illegal aliens are legally required to leave the U.S, but are still here:

"As of the end of the 2014 fiscal year, there were approximately 167,000 convicted criminal aliens at large in the United States (released by ICE) who have been ordered removed and exhausted all appeals. In addition, there were approximately 716,000 deportable non-criminal aliens at large who have been ordered removed and exhausted all appeals."

According to U.S. Immigrations and Customs (ICE) officials who spoke off the record, ICE officers are instructed to release or take a pass on illegal aliens whose crimes are designated as "minor" or who have family members in the United States. The result, the report says, is "that only a fraction of deportable aliens that ICE identifies actually will be processed for deportation."

And, only about half (53%) of criminal illegal aliens encountered by ICE agents were actually deported, the report finds:

"It is important to note that, similarly, only a fraction of those aliens labeled as a criminal threat at the time of encounter were selected for deportation by ICE in 2014. According to the weekly ICE metrics report cited above, as of September 20, 2014, ICE officers had reported 170,125 encounters with aliens deemed a criminal threat. Meanwhile, only 90,500 criminal aliens were issued charging documents, indicating a startlingly large number - potentially nearly 80,000 - of illegal aliens with criminal histories who were able to escape deportation proceedings in 2014, even after being encountered by an ICE officer."

The report also finds that less than two percent of aliens who have been given a final order of removal, but have yet to leave the country, are in ICE custody:

"ICE's weekly metrics report includes information on the number of aliens who have been issued a final order of removal, but who remain in the country. As of September 20, 2014, the total number of such aliens was 897,572. Of these, less than 2 percent (14,629) were detained in ICE custody. Yet 174,258 of these post-final-order deportable aliens were convicted criminals. Only about 4 percent (7,477) of the convicted criminal post-final-order aliens were detained in ICE custody."

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