Nearly 4,000 illegal immigrants apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol at the southwest border over a three-year period were allowed to return to their home countries despite having past criminal convictions and connections to criminal networks.
Border Patrol agents incorrectly classified roughly 15,000 criminal alien apprehensions between fiscal years 2013-15, according to a Government Accountability Office report issued this month. Twenty-four percent of these aliens, or 3,717, were allowed to voluntarily return to their countries of origin. Voluntary return is rated as the least effective and efficient of the consequences. More severe consequences include criminal prosecution.
Marine Gen. John Kelly, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to oversee immigration and the border as secretary of homeland security, appeared before the Senate for his confirmation hearing.
Kelly, a former commander of the U.S. Southern Command, underscored the need to staunch the flow of drugs and people across the southern border with a “layered defense” that includes human patrols, sensors, and cooperation with neighboring countries like Mexico. Kelly said that a “physical barrier” like a border wall, the cornerstone of Trump’s campaign rhetoric on immigration, would not be enough on its own to secure the border.
Border Patrol agents caught more than 1.1 million aliens along the southwest border over the three-year period covered by the audit. They apprehended roughly 300,000 in fiscal 2015 alone.
BY: Morgan Chalfant