President Joe Biden’s unprecedented failure to release a report on the number of illegal immigrants deported in 2021 prompted outrage from congressional Republicans who accused the White House of trying to cover up the crisis on the southern border.
The Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement failed to release the annual report by the end of the calendar year for the first time since 2011. It is unclear if the tardy ICE report has been completed; an ICE spokeswoman told the Free Beacon that the agency’s plans to publish the late report are up in the air.
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R., Texas) told the Free Beacon that the Biden administration’s decision to "ignore their responsibility to publish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Annual Report" is "shameful." Jackson added that Biden’s "open border agenda has caused and exacerbated the worst border crisis we’ve ever seen and Biden is doing everything he can to cover it up."
Jackson said the move to not release the report "is nothing more than a calculated attempt to minimize transparency and cover up their wrongdoings," referring to GOP criticism over the Biden administration's reversals of Trump-era policies such as "Remain in Mexico" and Title 42, a pandemic-related law that allowed for rapid deportations of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers. Many immigration hawks, such as Jackson, suspect that the 2021 report shows a decrease in deportations from ICE compared to previous years.
The lack of transparency from the Biden administration on the topic of illegal immigration comes after a year that saw an unprecedented surge of crossings all along the southern border. The administration also delayed issuing, then backdated, a Department of Homeland Security report on the illegal immigrant population, the Free Beacon reported earlier this week.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas) told the Free Beacon that Biden’s failure to release the number of deportations shows "a lack of seriousness for the crisis they created at our southern border." McCaul emphasized that "ICE's interior enforcement is critical in protecting our communities from bad actors who slip through initial detection. … With the crisis at the southern border, ICE's presence is needed now more than ever to enforce our immigration laws."
Rep. Troy Nehls (R., Texas), who spent decades in the military and law enforcement, told the Free Beacon that there is a direct tie between Biden’s rhetoric as a presidential candidate and the immigration crisis he is presiding over as president.
"Before President Biden was even inaugurated, he was inviting people to swarm the southern border," Nehls said. "On day one of his presidency he dismantled President Trump’s highly successful policies and look at the results: nearly two million illegal crossings from over 100 different countries, more fentanyl deaths than car crashes, and rampant crime across the country."
Nehls believes that Biden’s failures on the border will doom the Democratic Party in November. "The Biden administration is trying to hide their failure, but the American people are waking up," Nehls said. "They know we have a crisis at the southern border, they know this crisis is a direct result of President Biden’s policies, and they will voice their concern at the polls in 2022."