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U.S. Deportations Fell 70% in Biden’s First Year—62% Drop for Criminal Aliens

As the U.S. gets bombarded with an unprecedented surge of migrants along the southern border, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records show a shocking decline in deportations during the Biden administration’s first year including dangerous criminals. Removals by the Homeland Security agency created after 9/11 to secure the nation’s borders fell nearly 70% last year, according to government figures obtained by the Center for immigration Studies (CIS) this month. The Washington D.C. nonprofit had to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to access the alarming stats because the Biden administration hides them. In the last decade ICE’s annual reports have contained detailed enforcement and removal information, but under Biden the agency has omitted damaging specifics from its most recent annual report.

The records obtained by CIS tell a disturbing story of an administration with detrimental policies that are destroying immigration enforcement. For instance, in fiscal year 2021, ICE removals dropped by a ghastly 70% even as the number of migrants entering the U.S. through Mexico shattered records. Agency figures reveal 59,001 removals from both the border and the interior of the country in 2021 compared to 185,884 in 2020. In 2019, the last full year under Trump administration policies, ICE removed 267,258 illegal aliens, more than quadruple the amount deported in 2021. Even convicted criminals were given a pass by the Biden administration, the ICE records show. Removals of criminal aliens dropped 62% in 2021 to 39,149 compared to 103,762 in 2020. In contrast, 150,141 convicted criminals were removed by ICE in 2019. Last year the agency also slashed the number of aggravated felons that were removed by 43% over 2020, from 9,161 to 5,221. Among the alien offenders are murderers, human and drug traffickers as well as rapists.

The removal of criminal aliens from the interior also dropped substantially even though the administration claims it is prioritizing deporting those who pose a threat to public safety. The ICE records show that in 2021 only 26,210 criminals were removed compared to 48,606 the previous year. In its assessment of the recently obtained ICE figures CIS, the nation’s only think tank devoted exclusively to the research of U.S. immigration policy, writes that “the drop in enforcement activity in 2021 is directly attributable to the implementation of the Biden enforcement policies.” A breakdown of removals by fiscal year clearly illustrates a steep reduction in every category—interior, border, illegal immigrants with criminal convictions and aggravated felons—after Biden policies were adopted. One major factor is the administration’s effort to diminish a federal-local partnership known as 287(g) that notifies ICE of jail inmates in the country illegally so they can be deported after serving time for state crimes.

The huge drop in removals is especially distressing because it occurred during a record-breaking year in which more than 2 million illegal aliens crossed the Mexican border, according to figures provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The frontline DHS agency reported that the extraordinary 2021 figure surpassed the total number of illegal aliens it encountered in the previous two years by more than half a million. In 2019 CBP encountered 922,000 illegal immigrants along the southern border and in 2020 nearly 548,000. After Biden took office, the number of illegal aliens that tried to enter the U.S. through Mexico increased steadily with a major surge in asylum seekers. To deal with the onslaught, DHS covertly dispersed hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants throughout the U.S. without notifying local authorities. During a five-month period 273,396 illegal aliens were transported around the country and over 100,000 were issued Notices to Report (NTR) to an ICE office within 60 days. Tens of thousands failed to show up for their hearing with federal authorities by ignoring the government issued NTR that has become the laughingstock of the nation’s immigration system.

At the rate we are going, the number of migrants entering the country illegally through the Mexican border will be surpassed this year. In April alone, Border Patrol agents encountered 234,088 illegal immigrants at the southwest border, according to a federal court filing. The astounding figure is the highest one-month total in more than two decades and represents a 5.8% increase from March, when federal agents encountered 221,303 migrants in the region.


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