Deportations Dropped By 95 Percent Under Obama’s ‘Turn Back South’ Scheme [Opinion]

On April 14, 2015, Sarah Saldana, then-director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), appeared before the House Judiciary Committee, and some stark revelations about her agency’s actions came to light.

Between Fiscal Years 2013-2014, ICE released 66,565 illegal aliens, who were previously convicted of crimes in this country.

“The average daily population (ADP) of aliens in detention facilities has declined to approximately 26,000 beds. This has occurred despite a mandate in law that requires ICE to maintain a 34,000 ADP in detention facilities,” U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) stated.

“Whereas some ICE offices once processed as many as 100 illegal aliens a day for removal. Now these same offices often process fewer than five per day, with the same staff, Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies,” said Newsmax.

unprotected border with Mexico

That’s right…a 95 percent drop in deportations!

For several years, the Obama administration claimed to be deporting around 400,000 illegal aliens annually, until the now-deceased Cochise County (AZ) Sheriff Larry Dever exposed what he described as not only an inflated figure, but as Obama’s “strategy of turning immigrants back to keep arrest figures down.”

In March 2011, Sheriff Dever told Fox News that for two years, U.S. Border Patrol officials had been telling him they were ordered on multiple occasions to reduce and even stop apprehending illegal aliens crossing the U.S./Mexican border.

Sheriff Dever said that a Border Patrol supervisor informed him that the agency was ordered to keep the number of arrests down during specific reporting periods.

“The senior supervisor agent is telling me about how their mission is now to scare people back. He said, ‘I had to go back to my guys and tell them not to catch anybody, that their job is to chase people away.’ They were not to catch anyone, arrest anyone. Their job was to set up posture, to intimidate people, to get them to go back.”

The following month, the Daily Mail reported that Sheriff Dever received more than 100 emails from law enforcement agents, who supported his claims.

“They claim they have first-hand knowledge of the Border Patrol’s alleged strategy of turning immigrants back to keep arrest figures down.

“One San Diego border agent told him: ‘Upper management has advised supervisors to have agents ‘turn back South’ (TBS) the illegal aliens (aka bodies) they detect attempting to unlawfully enter the country … at times you even hear supervisors order the agents over the radio to ‘TBS’ the aliens instead of catching them.

“‘This only causes more problems as the aliens, as you know, don’t just go back to Mexico and give up. They keep trying, sometimes without 10 minutes in-between attempts, to cross illegally.’

“He said he felt the policy made his job even more dangerous, because the immigrants become more ‘defiant’ and feel like they can get away with breaking the law.”

Sheriff Larry Dever On Obama's 'Turn Back South' Scheme

In May 2011, Dever told the Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security that the Border Patrol’s new policy of giving a warning to illegal aliens rather than taking them into custody, known as “Turn Back South” was not only being practiced near the border, but far north of it as well.

“It appears, according to numerous reports from current and former border agents, that this practice has gravitated many miles north of the border. That means that, regardless of proximity to the border, people who were detected but not caught were considered to be ‘Turned Back South.’”

On September 18, 2012, a little more than a year after his testimony before Congress, the four-term Cochise County sheriff was killed in a single-vehicle accident on a lonely stretch of Forest Service Road in Arizona. He was reportedly on his way to join his sons on a hunting trip near White Horse Lake.

[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]