U.S. immigration officials have revealed that they face a deportation backlog of 550,000 illegal immigrants who were given temporary amnesty by former President Obama or simply let off the hook by liberal judges.
The massive backlog is being tackled by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but the sheer numbers — bigger than the populations of Atlanta or Sacramento -- is overwhelming the agency’s enforcement and removal department.
This week as ICE and other immigration officials reviewed successes under President Trump, a reporter asked Matthew T. Albence, executive associate director for enforcement and removal operations, if he knew the number of outstanding deportation orders. The conversation went this way:
Albence: “Ballpark is going to be around 550,000.”
Reporter: “Whoa. Why is it so high?”
Albence: “Well for a large part of the last four or five years we’ve been unable to take enforcement action against those individuals.”
Under Obama, many deportation actions were delayed starting in 2014, he said.