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.