ICE deportations dropped sharply in FY 2021 as Biden admin restricted agency: preliminary data
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Deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) dropped sharply last fiscal year, despite a massive migrant crisis at the southern border. The drop coincided with numerous Biden administration policies that restricted ICE agents from arresting illegal immigrants.
According to preliminary FY 2021 statistics on ICE’s website, there were 55,590 removals in FY 2021, a fraction of removals from prior years.
ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT WHO ALLEGEDLY DREW SWASTIKAS IN DC UNION STATION WON’T BE DEPORTED: ICE
That’s down significantly from the 185,884 deportations in FY 2020 and the 267,258 removed in FY 2019, despite an enormous surge of migrants coming to the US, many of whom were processed and released into the US
While ICE has not formally issued its end of fiscal year report, previous reporting by Gadget Clock found that arrests have similarly dropped sharply. The Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for lower levels of immigration overall, had previously cited data in December That showed ICE removals are lower than in 2019 and 2020, when enforcement had been curtailed significantly because of the pandemic.
The Biden administration entered office in January 2021, the fourth month of the fiscal year, and immediately attempted to impose a 100-day moratorium on deportations, a move that was blocked by a federal judge in response to a Texas lawsuit.
Shortly after that, the Biden administration released new rules that prioritized three categories of illegal immigrants: recent border crossers, aggravated felons and national security threats. The administration has claimed it allows agents to focus limited resources on top priority threats.
Additionally, in the following months, ICE was restricted from carrying out worksite enforcement operations and operations near certain areas, including courthouses.
In September, a memo instructed agents that someone’s illegal status should not be alone the basis for arrest and deportation.
“We have fundamentally changed immigration enforcement in the interior,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas declared in an interview with CBS News last month as he justified the controversial decision. “For the first time ever, our policy explicitly states that a non-citizen’s unlawful presence in the United States will not, by itself, be a basis for the initiation of an enforcement action.
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“This is a profound shift away from the prior administration’s indiscriminate enforcement.”
Critics have warned that ICE guidance will lead to criminals who do not meet the narrow standard of “aggravated felon” remaining in the US instead of being deported. Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), accused the Biden administration of having effectively abolished ICE.
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The new data confirms what we already knew: President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas aren’t judiciously enforcing our immigration laws; they are willfully and unilaterally nullifying those laws in defiance of their sworn oaths of office. In doing so, they are compromising the health. , safety and security of the American people, “Stein said in a statement reacting to the new data.
This week, ICE confirmed to Gadget Clock that it had not sought to deport a Mexican illegal immigrant who is accused of drawing swastikas on DC Union Station, despite his criminal record and prior deportations. ICE said it had not sought his removal in part due to the capital’s sanctuary city status.
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