A new study and analysis of immigration and census data has revealed that about 2.5 million people have immigrated to the United States illegally since President Obama took office, 790,000 of them in the last two and a half years. The data shows a significant improvement over illegal immigration rates from 2000 to 2006, when 500,000 to 600,000 people entered the country illegally each year. Although it still shows that the country is still far from stemming the tide of illegal immigrants, according to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which conducted the new analysis. The evidence indicates that in the last few years about 400,000 new illegal immigrants came into the country or overstayed a temporary visa each year.
There has been increasing controversy surrounding so called “sanctuary cities” around the country where often times policies are in place which tend to avoid deportation actions. In many reported instances, even when ICE or other agencies want to deport a particularly dangerous criminal immigrant, if they are located in a sanctuary city they are prevented from doing so. Almost 300 state and local jurisdictions have a policy of refusing to hold criminal illegal immigrants whom ICE seeks for deportation. San Francisco officials have recently come under heavy criticism for their own sanctuary policies following the high-profile murder of a woman who was walking on a city pier with her father.
Senate Republicans want the Justice Department to block grant money from flowing to law-enforcement agencies that follow such policies. Senator Richard Shelby wrote in a July 9th letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch “Municipalities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration laws simply should not receive the Department of Justice’s assistance funding…”