FAIR: Immigration Enforcement All But Frozen by ICE
(March 11, 2022, Washington, D.C.) — The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in response to the release of the long-awaited U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) annual report, outlining the de facto abolition of the agency’s core responsibilities:
“Nearly halfway through FY 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally released ICE data for FY 2021. The numbers confirm that the Biden administration has all but ceased removing illegal aliens from the United States. Moreover, the number of new arrests has plummeted, meaning that even fewer illegal aliens will be removed in the coming years,” stated Stein.
Among the disturbing data revealed in the FY 2021 ICE Annual Report:
59,011 deportable aliens removed. In contrast to nearly 1.8 million people who were encountered entering the U.S. illegally in FY 2021, and an estimated 500,000-600,000 who eluded apprehension, ICE removed barely a thousand per week. The FY 2021 removals are the lowest on record since 1995, and the lowest in ICE history considering that the agency was created in 2003.
About half of the FY 2021 removals occurred during the Trump administration. The data indicates that 28,677 removals occurred prior to February 18. That means that during the last eight months of the fiscal year, ICE removed about 100 illegal aliens per day.
With at least 14.5 million illegal aliens in the U.S., ICE initiated only 74,082 arrests. Fewer arrests mean that even fewer illegal aliens will be removed in future years. The FY 2021 figures (the first four months of which were under the Trump administration) are about half the number of such arrests in the pre-COVID years of 2018 and 2019. While the number of new cases declined in FY 2021, ICE closed or dismissed 18,809 existing removal cases.
The dramatic FY 2021 decline in ICE enforcement occurred before new DHS guidelines that further constrain the agency. Beginning in the final day of FY 2021, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued three new sets of guidelines that further limit the categories of immigration lawbreakers who are subject to enforcement, including many with criminal records, while limiting where ICE can carry out enforcement actions.
“President Biden may not have formally abolished ICE as the far left flank of his party has demanded, but the FY 2021 data demonstrates that his administration has all but abolished its functions as an agency that enforces U.S. immigration laws,” charged Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “The agency’s 20,790 employees still show up for work each day hoping to enforce the law, but they are prevented from doing their jobs and protecting the security and interests of the American people.
“It is not surprising that the administration hid this report from Congress and the American public for as long as they could, only to quietly release it while the nation is focused on Ukraine and raging inflation. But the numbers speak for themselves. The Biden administration is flagrantly flouting enforcement of our immigration laws, and Congress must hold them accountable,” concluded Stein.
Contact: Preston Huennekens, 202-328-7004 or email@example.com.