Sessions, King: GAO Report Sheds Light on Neglectful Obama-era Immigration Practices
Today, the independent, nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study requested in 2015 by U.S. Congressmen Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA) entitled "Criminal Alien Statistics: Information on Incarcerations, Arrests, Convictions, Costs, and Removals." This report provides information on criminal aliens in the United States from fiscal years 2011 through 2016. Specifically, the report analyzed the number and nationality of criminal aliens incarcerated in local jails and state and federal prisons, the types of offenses for which criminal aliens were arrested and convicted, and the costs associated with incarcerating criminal aliens.
"As we continue to work our way through the mire of immigration reform here in Congress, it is critical that we have all of the facts at hand," said Congressman Sessions. "The report released by the GAO sheds even more light on an alarming Obama-era practice that allowed criminal illegal aliens to roam our streets rather than placing them behind bars where those who break the law belong. While percentages of criminal aliens in state and federal prisons decreased between 2011 and 2016, the current administration, which stringently enforces our immigration laws, has found gang members, human traffickers, and drug smugglers were allowed to cross our border freely and directly into our state and country. In Texas alone, the criminal illegal aliens who have been incarcerated were largely convicted of some of the most heinous crimes, like sexual assault and child exploitation. This report proves that our national security was neglected by the previous administration and it is time we in Congress ensure a return to law and order by securing our southern border and protecting American families from known criminals."
“This GAO report on criminal alien populations illustrates just how reckless and lax the Obama administration was when it came to enforcing our immigration laws,” said King.“Further, it validates President Trump’s call to ‘Build The Wall!’ along our border with Mexico. Over 90% of criminal aliens in federal prisons are citizens of just six countries: Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Columbia, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. The location of these countries leaves little doubt that criminal aliens are exploiting our porous border to gain access to our country. One of the most effective things we could do to stop the flow of drugs and illegal aliens into the United States is to ‘Build The Wall!’ and I am grateful that the Trump administration has made the construction of a border wall the centerpiece of its proposals to strengthen enforcement of our immigration laws.”
GAO report highlights:
- From Fiscal Years 2011 through 2016, the criminal alien proportion of the total estimated federal inmate population decreased, from approximately 25% to 21%.
- During this period, the estimated number of criminal aliens incarcerated in federal prisons decreased from about 50,400 to about 39,500.
- 91% of these criminal aliens were citizens of one of six countries, including Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Guatemala.
- Most of the costs to the federal government were associated with incarcerating criminal aliens in federal prisons, which accounted for 83 to 89% of total costs from FY2010 through 2015.
- In FY2015 the top five states with most State Criminal Alien Assistance Programs (SCAAP) criminal alien incarcerations: Arizona, California, Florida, New York, and Texas
- These five states accounted for 64% of the SCAAP criminal alien incarcerations in state prisons across the country.
Read the full GAO report here.