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Political Editors / September 16, 2016

Delay, Defer, Deny

DHS delaying its report on illegal immigration seems too politically convenient.

Where is the report on illegal immigration numbers requested by the House and Senate as part of the Fiscal 2016 Omnibus Bill? The short answer is that it is delayed, or, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, it still “requires further refinement, to ensure the new measures are accurate and reliable.” Fox News reports that sources familiar with the DHS report processing dispute the assertion given for delaying the report.

Earlier this year DHS briefed Congress with what was a blended report of both IER and non-IER stats. That report was used to support the claim that only 20% of would-be illegal immigrants were successful in crossing the border into the U.S. However, Fox News sources say the IER report which focuses exclusively on adults entering illegally found the number of successful entries to be at least 50%. Now Congress wants to know why this DHS report has yet to be released, in order for numbers to be accurately known, and become public record.

Edward Alden a senior fellow at the council on Foreign Relations explained the importance of Congress needing this report. He asked, “How can we expect Congress to make decisions on border enforcement if it doesn’t know how many people are entering illegally, if it doesn’t know the apprehension rate, if it doesn’t know the detection rate … [or] what percentage of people the border patrol is seeing? All of these are critical variables about making intelligence decisions about border enforcement and they simply at the moment are not in the hands of the Congress and the public.”

To the skeptic it might appear that, this being an election year, and the problem of illegal immigration being one of Donald Trump’s core campaign issues, that any delay on an illegal immigration report that would further the Trump narrative might be conveniently delayed until after the election. But Obama would never play political games like that now, would he?

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