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I'm trying to reconcile two different sets of data.

The House Judiciary committee reports:

| year | Criminal Alien Removals | Non-Criminal Removals |  Total |
|------+-------------------------+-----------------------+--------|
| 2015 |                  139368 |                 96045 | 235413 |
| 2014 |                  177960 |                137983 | 315943 |
| 2013 |                  216810 |                151834 | 368644 |
| 2012 |                  225390 |                184459 | 409849 |
| 2011 |                  216698 |                180208 | 396906 |
| 2010 |                  195772 |                197090 | 392862 |
| 2009 |                  136343 |                253491 | 389834 |

while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reports:

| year | Removals |
|------+----------+
| 2015 |   333341 |
| 2014 |   407075 |
| 2013 |   434015 |
| 2012 |   416324 |
| 2011 |   386020 |
| 2010 |   381738 |
| 2009 |   391341 |

In the footnotes of that table, "Removals" are defined as

Removals are the compulsory and confirmed movement of an inadmissible or deportable alien out of the United States based on an order of removal. An alien who is removed has administrative or criminal consequences placed on subsequent reentry owing to the fact of the removal.

I believe the criteria for "inadmissible or deportable alien" comes from 8 U.S. Code § 1227 - Deportable aliens.

The DHS glossary defines "Criminal Removal" as

The deportation, exclusion, or removal of an alien who has 1) been charged under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that requires a criminal conviction and that charge is the basis for the removal or 2) a criminal conviction noted in the Deportable Alien Control System (DACS) for a crime that renders the alien removable. An alien with an appropriate criminal conviction is considered a criminal alien regardless of the section of law under which the alien was removed.

Note that although the definition comes from the DHS, the term "Criminal Alien Removals" (which I assume is the same as "Criminal Removals") is used in the Judiciary Committee report.

Since court orders are not the same as convictions, "Removals" is a broader category than "Criminal Alien Removals". However, based on the names I would expect "Criminal Alien Removals" plus "Non-Criminal Removals" to equal "Removals", but the numbers above do not bear that out:

| year |  Total | Removals | Difference | Percent |
|------+--------+----------+------------+---------|
| 2015 | 235413 |   333341 |      97928 |   29.38 |
| 2014 | 315943 |   407075 |      91132 |   22.39 |
| 2013 | 368644 |   434015 |      65371 |   15.06 |
| 2012 | 409849 |   416324 |       6475 |    1.56 |
| 2011 | 396906 |   386020 |     -10886 |   -2.82 |
| 2010 | 392862 |   381738 |     -11124 |   -2.91 |
| 2009 | 389834 |   391341 |       1507 |    0.39 |
  • Is there a way to reconcile the two sets of data? Is there a way to account for the difference between "Total" (i.e. the sum of "Criminal Alien Removals" and "Non-Criminal Removals") and "Removals"?

  • Or is one of the two sets of data wrong? If so, which one?

  • I think the DHS number is generally higher because of the "exclusion" word in their definition which doesn't seem to be part of the Judiciary Committee numbers. Just guessing. – JasonR Feb 17 '17 at 12:32
  • @JasonR: Although I found the (a?) definition of "Criminal Removal" on the DHS website, the term "Criminal Alien Removal" was used in the Judiciary Committee report. So if "exclusion" broadens the definition of "Criminal Alien Removal", I think we should expect (if anything) Judiciary Committee numbers to be higher. Apologies if the way I presented the definitions make this confusing. – unutbu Feb 17 '17 at 13:43
  • Biggest difference I see is about a 25% difference in the 2014 #'s. While largish, its nowhere near the order-of-magnitude difference I'd want to see before wondering if shenanigans were going on. Probably either a minor difference in definitions, or in what data was gathered. – T.E.D. Feb 17 '17 at 19:07
2

There are two reasons for the discrepancies:

  1. The first table (House Judiciary) solely represents aliens removed by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

The second table adds aliens removed by Customs and Border Patrol.

https://www.dhs.gov/news/2015/12/22/dhs-releases-end-fiscal-year-2015-statistics

  1. ICE states:

    ICE removals include removals and returns where aliens were turned over to ICE for removal efforts

In other words, though ICE uses the term "removals" in the House Judiciary table, they are including some "returns". They really "removed" fewer than what they are saying.

Overall the second (DHS) table is the one that corresponds to the title of the question, (number of non-citizens "removed").

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