Once again, local-TV investigative reporters are showing up their national counterparts.
Recall that this summer the administration insisted the thousands of Central American illegal immigrants it was waving across the border would be put into deportation proceedings and those who did not qualify for asylum would be removed. You’d think, then, that there’d be bigshot D.C. journalists interested in finding out how many actually bothered to attend their immigration hearings.
You’d be wrong.
But the investigative unit at Houston’s KPRC, Channel 2, decided to ask. And when they didn’t get an answer, they persisted. And persisted. And finally got some answers.
Looking at the completed cases of people who snuck over the border and were released over a three-month period, the reporter found that more than 90 percent of them didn’t show up for their immigration hearings and joined the illegal population. Surprise!
The story included this reaction from DHS:
Officials with the Department of Homeland Security reiterated all those caught crossing the border after Jan. 1 are a top priority to have their cases decided in immigration court and to track down those who’ve disappeared.
As James Taranto says on Twitter: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
My colleague Jessica Vaughan notes that these statistics simply reinforce the message sent by FY 2014’s drop in overall deportations — this administration is engaged in enforcement theater, not real enforcement:
In the context of current catch-and-release policies, a focus on border apprehensions as a measure of the effectiveness of border security is meaningless, and deliberately misleading. Apprehensions are not a metric of enforcement when illegal aliens are apprehended and then routinely released under the guise of “deportation proceedings”, “asylum applications”, or even “budget constraints.”
The relevant congressional committees please take note: The incoming Republican majorities in the House and Senate should be able to get even more information out of the Obama administration than the news team at Houston’s NBC affiliate.