The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cannot say how many illegal aliens it has refused to prosecute under President Barack Obama’s prosecutorial discretion directives, according to a report released by the department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

The report, released May 6, states that while DHS does collect some data on its immigration enforcement efforts, the department lacks a collective data-gathering tool to record how often its agents exercise prosecutorial discretion, which allows immigration enforcement agencies to decide when to enforce or ignore the nation’s immigration laws.

The lack of data collection results in major information gaps that could prevent future policy improvements and potentially create a national security risk, the OIG stated.“DHS uses prosecutorial discretion in deciding to what extent it will enforce immigration laws, including whether to place aliens in or take them out of the removal process. However, the Department does not collect and analyze data on the use of prosecutorial discretion to fully assess its current immigration enforcement activities and to develop future policy,” the report explained.

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