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Former judge says he cannot confirm Biden admin deported any illegal migrants he placed under removal orders

Former judge says he cannot confirm Biden admin deported any illegal migrants he placed under removal orders

A former immigration judge stated Thursday that he cannot confirm that the Biden administration actually deported any of the illegal immigrants he placed under removal orders, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

Matthew O’Brien was appointed by the Trump administration in 2020 as an immigration judge in Arlington, Virginia. He was a former research director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a nonprofit dedicated to ending illegal immigration and securing the nation’s borders. O’Brien was one of several Trump-appointed judges removed by the Biden administration in 2022.

On Thursday, O’Brien told the House Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs that he could not verify that any of the illegal immigrants he ordered to be removed from the United States were then deported by the Biden administration’s federal officials.

Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman from Wisconsin stated, “I always kind of wonder what happens if people come here illegally and commit a crime.”

Grothman requested that O’Brien compare the Biden administration to previous administrations regarding its handling of illegal immigrants committing crimes.

“What happens to you if you commit a crime, and how does this compare to … if you committed that crime six years ago?” Grothman asked.

O’Brien explained that illegal immigrants who have committed “one of a wide variety of crimes” are supposed to be placed into removal proceedings and attend a hearing.

“Unfortunately, I think over time, the hearings have been analogized to a criminal proceeding, but they’re not. They’re very similar to a driver’s license revocation proceeding,” O’Brien noted. “The crime stands on its own.”

According to O’Brien, suspects who have been accused of committing crimes ranging “from shoplifting to murder” could be deported. As a result, the suspect receives a notice to appear order. Those accused of committing “certain low-level crimes” can apply for relief from removal.

“You get an order to show cause, essentially to show why you shouldn’t be removed from the United States,” he continued. “Anything that is classified under the [Immigration and Nationality Act] as an aggravated felony crime is supposed to result in a removal from the U.S. and then you being barred from returning for a certain number of years.”

O’Brien claimed that the rigor with which these rules are enforced has “changed significantly” under the Biden administration.

“There seems to be significantly less willingness under this administration to use the administrative and expedited removal procedures,” O’Brien stated.

As an example, he explained that illegal immigrants who return to the United States after being deported for committing a crime can be removed again without requiring a hearing.

“I also found that, when I was an immigration judge, I later tried to determine how many of the people that I had ordered removed that their removal had actually been effectuated from the United States, which was something that was fairly easy to do under prior administrations,” O’Brien continued. “But I could not substantiate that a single individual that I had entered an order of removal against had actually been removed by this administration.”

Grothman responded by stating, “It’s shocking.”

O’Brien further noted that the Trump administration made a concerted effort to prioritize the deportation of illegal immigrants who had committed violent crimes.

“Sometimes it’s not always possible to easily remove someone if their country of citizenship doesn’t wish to issue them a travel document or, for whatever reason, doesn’t wish to take them,” O’Brien added.

“But the effort was made regardless,” he stated, referring to the Trump administration’s efforts. “And, in most cases, it was successful.”

“Under this administration, I don’t think that the effort is even being made,” O’Brien said of the Biden administration.

In the first four months of fiscal year 2024, there have been more than 960,000 migrant encounters at the southern border. Migrant encounters reached more than 673,000 over the same period in 2022 and 876,000 in 2023.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →