900,000 Illegal Immigrants Ordered Deported “In Absentia” Are Still in U.S.

empty courtroomEven when U.S. courts actually agree to deport undocumented immigrants, the orders aren’t carried out.

In the latest demonstration that the U.S. legal and police system appears unable to enforce immigration laws, documents show that about 900,000 undocumented immigrants, including 170,000 criminals, have been ordered deported “in absentia,” meaning a judge kicked them out without them even knowing it.

If an immigrant fails to show up for a court date, the judge can deport them– without the immigrant even knowing of the charge.

A critic of the system, Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, said since most of the removal orders are never carried out, the result is a “kangaroo court.”

“People don’t understand that in addition to public safety reasons, the detention system is needed to ensure the integrity of the system,” said Vaughan. “Immigration is a different kind of law – for the most part, the government has to have custody of the person to enforce it, because people just don’t comply on their own. That’s a result of our otherwise open lifestyle.”

Until the system is fixed, over 900,000 undocumented immigrants listed for deportation remain in the U.S. with no intentions of leaving.