In the midst of an ongoing crisis where illegal immigrants continue to stream across the U.S.-Mexico border, federal lawmakers ordered a report from the Department of Homeland Security assessing the situation, but President Obama’s DHS refuses to release the report because sources say the administration fears “it would ‘look bad’ and ‘help elect Donald Trump.’”
That’s according to a report by Fox News, which also cited sources who said DHS is overstating the number of illegal immigrants who are apprehended as they cross the border.
DHS says it isn’t suppressing the report; however, sources told Fox it was finished in November and reveals that about half of the illegal adults who try to cross the border are successful, approximately 250,000 in total.
DHS officially estimates that the Border Patrol catches 80 percent of adults sneaking into the U.S.
“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,” John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, told Fox News. “The administration has made fraudulent changes in the numbers to hide this.”
Illegal immigration and border security have been top issues in the 2016 election. A June survey by the Pew Research Center revealed 70 percent of registered voters said immigration is an issues that’s “very important” to their vote in November.
A source familiar with the report told Fox that DHS is withholding the report for “political reasons … because it would ‘look bad’ and ‘help elect Donald Trump.”
Republicans in Congress are said to be outraged that the agency won’t release the report.
“It erodes the trust as to whether the administration is being honest with the American people about what the threat is,” said Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., who serves on the Committee on Homeland Security and chairs the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee. “This should not be a partisan issue. Democrats, Independents and Republicans in my community want to make sure that border communities are safe.”
Fox noted the House and Senate Appropriations Committees requested the immigration report as part of the Fiscal 2016 Omnibus Bill. Instead, it’s been hidden and only viewed by “a select few key administration figures. Fox asked the DHS and the White House for a copy, but officials claimed the report hasn’t been completed.
“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 immigration report in question was compiled by analysts with DHS and the Institute for Defense Analyses. Fox described it as “the most extensive survey of illegal activity and U.S. enforcement at the southwest border to date.”
“Researchers went to the southwest border three times over 9 months and conducted independent surveys of Mexican migrants caught by the Border Patrol,” according to Fox. “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.”
Jessica Vaughan, director of policy research for the Center for Immigration Studies, told the news network it doesn’t surprise her that the Obama administration has refused to make the taxpayer-funded report public.
“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,” she said.