Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan actually announced that there are too many illegal immigrants in the United States to count. The best the agency can do is create an estimate, which is currently between 11 and 12 million illegal immigrants.
In the same speech, Homan also said that no illegal immigrant should “be comfortable,” no matter how many this country has.
Thanks to President Donald Trump’s new laws, that technically puts every illegal immigrant up for deportation.
The Daily Caller reports:
“One thing President Trump did with the executive orders is he took the handcuffs off of officers. Now they can enforce the laws enacted by Congress,” Homan told TheDC. “The executive orders could’ve been written in one sentence: ‘You are now allowed to enforce the law as written.’ There’s been a lot of people off the table. Now there’s no population off the table anymore.”
The acting ICE director said during the briefing that there are “11 million to 12 million” illegal immigrants in the U.S. The Pew Research Center pegged the number at 11 million illegal immigrants in 2015.
“Like everybody else, I see studies and reports, and 11-12 million is the steady number I’ve seen. Could it be higher? It probably could be,” Homan said Tuesday. When asked if the government should look more into what that figure actually is, Homan replied, “I think the more information we have, the better off we are. If there’s somebody that wants to look into that, then I support that.”
As a candidate, Trump said the government “has no idea” how many illegal immigrants are the country. “It could be 3 million. It could be 30 million,” Trump said.
The Trump administration has arrested at least 66,000 individuals known or suspected of being in the country illegally. Homan said in a 2016 event that the U.S. could potentially deport 400,000 illegal immigrants per year. He told TheDC that ICE officers could deport even more if the backlog in immigration courts could be addressed.
The good thing is that border arrests have gone down since President Trump was elected. Due to the laws he’s enacted, it’s actually preventing new illegals from wanting to come through.
However, thanks to the huge number of illegals, Homan did mention that the average waiting time for a deportation trial can take over 600 days. Some illegals in custody are not scheduled to have hearings until 2021.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also spoken out about the need to hire more immigration judges.