Barack Obama is covering up illegal immigration numbers by refusing to release a report from the Department of Homeland Security documenting the number of illegal aliens who successfully cross the border because he fears the truth will help elect Donald Trump. Instead of releasing the report, which insiders say was completed last November, DHS cites fraudulent numbers that overstate the number of illegal immigrants apprehended at the border.
DHS is holding back the report that shows roughly half of adults who attempt to cross the border make it. That contradicts official DHS estimates. The agency claims 80 percent of adults sneaking in are caught by US authorities. But the Obama Administration is padding the number to make it appear border security is more effective than it really is.
“The Obama administration knows that the number of illegal aliens successfully getting across the Mexican border is 158 percent higher than they are telling people,” said John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center. “The administration has made fraudulent changes in the numbers to hide this.”
If released by the Obama administration, the true numbers could have major implications in the current presidential race, in which illegal immigration and border security have become a key issue, say observers.
Republican lawmakers are furious that the report they ordered is not being released. The report was requested by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees but has been shrouded in secrecy. Critics say the DHS report is being deliberately withheld because of its explosive findings, which would likely benefit Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Fox News requested a copy of the report from both DHS and the White House, but was told the report is not yet finished, an assertion disputed by sources familiar with the process.
“Any suggestion that DHS is delaying release of a report on new border enforcement measures for political reasons is false,” a DHS spokesperson told Fox News. “To the contrary, at Secretary Johnson’s direction, DHS has been making significant progress in the development of such measures. At this point, however, the work is still preliminary and requires further refinement, to ensure the new measures are accurate and reliable.”
“The November 2015 report purportedly obtained by Fox News is one building block provided by a research organization DHS has been working with to develop these measures,” the spokesperson added.
The study was written by analysts from DHS and the outside firm Institute for Defense Analyses, and is the most extensive survey of illegal immigrant activity and US border enforcement to date. Researchers went to the southwest border three times over 9 months and conducted independent surveys of illegal immigrants caught by the Border Patrol. They also reviewed Border Patrol intelligence, internal DHS records, apprehensions at ports of entry and detention records. The report was peer reviewed by a number of experts.
The document examines, in part, the Interdiction Effectiveness Rate (IER), or the number of adults caught at the border by law enforcement. But when DHS briefed members of the House and Senate earlier this year, sources familiar with the report say it was blended with non-IER statistics, such as unaccompanied children and those who surrendered to Border Patrol. Those figures were used to buttress the claim that only 20 percent of would-be illegal immigrants are successful when the real IER estimation was half, sources said.
“There is a distrust, because of the shifting measurements,” McSally said. “We would like to follow up with those researchers and better understand what is going on related to suppressing those results, if that’s an accurate report.”
“It appears to me that this research could have been suppressed because it contradicts the Obama administration’s narrative that the border is secure, and it contradicts the administration’s wish for people to believe that illegal immigration is a thing of the past,” Vaughan said.
The taxpayer-funded research should be released to the public and available for review by experts, said Edward Alden, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a co-author of the CFR report, “Managing Illegal Immigration to the United States: How Effective is Enforcement.”
“How can we expect Congress to make decisions on border enforcement if it doesn’t know how many people are entering illegally, if it doesn’t know the apprehension rate, if it doesn’t know the detection rate, what percentage of people the border patrol is seeing,” Alden said. “All of these are critical variables about making intelligence decisions about border enforcement and they simply, at the moment, are not in the hands of the Congress and the public.”
The Institute for Defense Analyses report is not classified or marked in any way and can be publicly disseminated without restriction, sources said. But the chances of the Obama Administration releasing the report are unlikely.