Apprehension and Removal of illegal Aliens: A Revolving Door

Accounts of crimes committed by illegal aliens too often include the fact that the alien had been previously deported: often several times. The Border Patrol has been tasked with evaluating what is the rate of recidivism – the illegal return of those who have been deported.

The Border Patrol calculation of the most recent recidivism rate is 14 percent. But a newly released study by the government’s General Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that this is a woefully low calculation.

The GAO study “Actions Needed to Improve Oversight of Post-Apprehension Consequences,” found that a more recent system to evaluate recidivism placed the rate at 29 percent – more than double the Border Patrol’s established estimate. The GAO went on to point out that even this higher estimate is also ridiculously understated for two reasons:

–       First, the system only compared the records of persons apprehended two or more times in a given year. So aliens apprehended reentering illegally are not counted as recidivists if they were last apprehended more than a year earlier.

–       Second, the absence of an illegal reentry does not mean that the illegal alien has decided to stay out of the United States, it very well may mean that the apprehended illegal alien is still be in the country or illegally reentered the country without being apprehended.

The GAO recommended, among other changes, that the recidivism evaluation system exclude from the category of non-recidivists any illegal alien for whom there is no record of their deportation. DHS disagreed with this recommendation, so it remains to be seen if the change is implemented.

It is clear that this obvious recommended change in the method of calculating the rate of recidivism would result in a major jump in the recidivism rate. That rate underscores the falsity of Obama administration’s insistence that the border is under control.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    I would also add that when lying, backstabbing Washington politicians like Paul Ryan start talking about “the children” in terms of giving amnesty to ‘the children”, watch out. This is a common tactic used by politicians in order to tug on people’s heartstrings and make them feel guilty, so they can get their foot in the door before they push for amnesty for all illegal aliens here, because what decent person could possibly be against “the children”?

    This tactic was used with Obamacare. They started with coverage for “the children” before their final push for coverage for everyone.

    I would ask Paul Ryan what about the children of American citizens who have resources taken away from their education for English as a second language classes for the children of illegal aliens? Paul Ryan doesn’t care.

    But Paul Ryan needs all the corporate money that finances his campaigns, so he really doesn’t care what this does to our students, as our country falls further behind our toughest international competitors in education.

    • avatar

      I am opposed to amnesty for the children, particularly since the ones who are here and have been granted it are demonstrating demanding more and more and more from our society. It is our country. They and their parents need to be kicked out and their countries need to be made to take them back. It has been done before. there were deportation teams putting them on buses and sending them home. Build the wall first, catch them at the border and turn them around when possible, strengthen our laws and get rid of the locusts.

    • avatar

      Yes SecBorders

      Paul Ryan was a neverTrump Rino until the election forced him to follow Trump Coat Tails…Trump Won Wisconsin!!

      He’d better get on the Trump Train or lose the next election to a Democrat [who switched to Trump to get elected]….LOL

      • avatar

        You appear to learn nothing of our system,…Trump is outmatched…..”REMEMBER” these guys hate Trump and the Speaker of the house is a powerful man……

    • avatar

      SecBorders do something for this land by starting with yourself…..finish high school even in your 60s it is never too late and age does not matter……

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  2. avatar

    $100 a Day to Keep Them in an American Prison

    We could spend that money on the border Wall instead and bus ’em all back to Mexico to their Mexican Cartel jobs….recently being “drain the swamped’ by legal pot? LOL

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  3. avatar

    There’s something seriously wrong when people are deported a dozen or more times. Which means they entered a dozen or more times without being caught. I agree that we need to make penalties more severe depending on the number of times they are caught. After about the third time, a year on a prison farm growing their own food might discourage people. Too severe? Nothing else seems to work. It’s like a lot of people say non citizens should not be prosecuted when they vote, which does happen. But they know they are not citizens and not eligible to vote. It’s not like it’s an accident.

    On another subject how many people heard the story that we just deployed US troops in Poland. This comes many decades after WW2. We complain about Putin but war hawks like McCain and Graham give him all the ammunition he needs to play on Russian paranoia. If they deployed troops in Canada, there would be no end of hearing about it.

    • avatar

      We should not be deploying any troops in Poland. Let the Poles and Germans take care of their local issues. If the Germans spent as much as they should on defense there would not be excess money to fund the hair-brained kumbaya refugee schemes of Merkle. The untold hundreds of thousands who died keeping Islam out of Europe are spinning in their graves. Time for the United States to shut down our bases in Germany and let them build up their Armies. If we don’t leave Germany then at least change the name of the country to “Occupied Germany”. The Germans need to rid themselves of this post-WWII guilt complex and grow a set of gonads.

      You make and excellent point about U.S. troops being deployed in Poland. They could easily be involved in hostilities with the Russians, that could escalate very quickly into an all-out war. And yes, I don’t think we would like Russian armies on Canadian soil(e.g. Cuban Missile Crises). How many times do you take a sharp stick and poke the bear before it bites you?

      • avatar

        We already have Russian, Serbian and other foreign troops on our soil. Some live on a base under the Denver airport. Others live on bases in the tunnels and on above ground bases that were closed at some point. And if you get to the Denver airport, check out the Communist wall art. I think they said it is on the top floor.

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        William why is it we have such a flow going to the EU ….Vthe news say it is our fault for de stabilizing the middle East?

  4. avatar

    One way that Japan handles this is they increase penalties, such as longer reentry bands, on illegal aliens that break immigration laws a second times.

    I would also add that our country is already overpopulated.

    From Popular Science:

    “Just a few decades ago, the rusty patched bumblebee pollinated crops and wildflowers in 28 states. Now, as of Tuesday, it lives on the endangered species list.

    A statement on the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) website says the species’ population has “plummeted” by 87 percent since the 1990s, its range now limited to small pockets in just 13 states.

    Sam Droege from the U.S. Geological Survey runs a volunteer bee-monitoring network. He says that out of the thousands of bees they’ve collected in the past decade, they haven’t seen a single rusty patched bumblebee. “Our last one was collected in 2002.”

    The rusty patched is the first bee species in the continental U.S. to get added to the endangered list—and the first bumblebee, or member of the genus Bombus, in the entire country—but it joins seven Hawaiian bees who made the list last year.

    They may have more company soon. The New York Times reports that the FWS is considering putting three more bee species on the list: Franklin’s bumblebee, the western bumblebee and the yellow-banded bumblebee. Bombus franklini may already be extinct, says Droege.

    Bumblebees pollinate about a third of our crops, including apples, tomatoes, cranberries, and peppers. That service, combined with the work of other bees and different kinds of pollinators, is worth about $3 billion a year.

    Unfortunately, these fuzzy fertilizers are declining across America and across the globe, which could threaten our food supply as well as biodiversity.”

    —-‘It’s unclear exactly what’s causing the declines, but it’s likely a combination of several factors, including loss of habitat, diseases and parasites, pesticides, and climate change.’

    • avatar

      You need help ….. 330M people 60-70% whites. african Americans ~ 12% hispanics ~ 12 % other………yet the minority is eating all the fish all the land….get a grip of yourself…….you are naive….read educate yourself why? not just copy/past bees…..etc hahaha!!!

      • avatar

        I sure hope Trump will be able to deport you back home to Mexico so you will no longer feel the need to troll FAIR’s blog. I am not responding because I think you will actually learn anything, but so no else reading this is distracted by your misinformation.

        So for anyone else reading this, immigration is responsible for most of the population growth in the US, which leads to the habitat destruction of bee species which we need around to pollinate our crops so we have food to eat. Therefore, immigration into the US should be reduced as much as possible to take care of our environment.

        • avatar

          SecBorders so by your own statement immigration is responsible…..that leaves the majority…whites that we came from the 1600’s…not you..i have no idea, for all I know you must be an extremist posing as an American to spy on us.

          • avatar

            Right, immigration is responsible for most of the population growth since the 1990s, during the period the bee species declined. Obviously the activities of Americans already here is also a huge factor in habit loss, but the government can dramatically reduce the levels of immigration so those coming here and all of the children they spawn won’t make an already bad environmental situation worse.

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            Without immigration our population would stabilize at about 360 million people. More people coming in means more growth, 25 to 30 million per decade. Were you sick and missed math class in the third grade?

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          HA! ….talking about math and you just missed the very math SecBorders understood but you obviously missed … hahahahahahahaha!!!