ICE deportations fall to record low in April: report
Deportations conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) fell to a record low in April, as the Biden administration redirects resources from immigration enforcement to border management.
According to a report by The Washington Post, ICE deported 2,962 people in April, the lowest monthly total on record for the agency.
ICE’s role in immigration enforcement is limited to immigrants in the interior of the country, as opposed to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which oversees immigration enforcement at the borders and ports of entry.
The record low numbers come as ICE under President Biden has for the most part limited its deportation activities to foreign nationals with criminal records. Biden’s policy eschews the Trump administration’s expansive interior enforcement.
While Biden and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have declined a push from the left to fully abolish ICE, they have steered the organization away from the ever-growing detention and deportation operation that grew under former Presidents Trump and Obama.
According to Trac, a nonpartisan immigration data tracker hosted by the Syracuse University, ICE had 15,136 people detained in its system as of April 14.
That number represents an increase over the 13,914 detainees as of March 31, but a majority of ICE detainees since mid-March have been arrested by CBP and turned over to ICE for detention.
Of the 5,612 people booked into ICE detention in April, only 914 detainees were arrested by ICE and the rest by CBP, according to Trac.
The detainee figure also represents a fraction of the 55,654 detainees in ICE facilities in August 2019.
If ICE deportation numbers continue on this pace in 2021, the agency is on track to deport fewer than 100,000 people for the first time since its 2003 founding.
Still, ICE deportations are not the only method of expulsion of foreign nationals available to the federal government.
While interior enforcement priorities have changed drastically under Biden, the administration has continued the Trump-era policy of immediately expelling foreign nationals caught crossing the border under a pandemic-related statute known as Title 42.
Trump applied Title 42 to all foreign nationals, including those seeking asylum, but Biden has exempted unaccompanied minors, who are first detained by CBP and then turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.