The number of illegal immigrants deported has dropped 90% since 2019, according to an analysis of Immigration and Customs Enforcement data.
News of the drop came in a report by the Center for Immigration Studies. The report analyzed data from ICE obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request and detailed in reports by the Washington Examiner and The Washington Free Beacon.
The Examiner said President Joe Biden, when taking office, moved to dismantle former President Donald Trump’s border policies. He stopped construction of the border wall and imposed rules that helped curb deportations.
"Biden officials claim that the new policies make ICE more efficient, but in fact, the result is simply less enforcement, and even enforcement against criminals, who should be the top priority," said Jessica Vaughan, the Center for Immigration Studies' policy director. "They have accomplished the near abolition of interior immigration enforcement by miring officers in red tape or taking them off the job.
"Not only is this approach a waste of government resources, it greatly undermines the integrity of our legal immigration system and ends up causing public safety problems to boot."
And she told the Beacon: "This collapse in deportations is undeniably due to the policies President Biden put in place upon taking office, including a deportation moratorium [later blocked in federal court] and by severely restricting the types of cases ICE officers can pursue," said Vaughan, who wrote the report. "Officers are allowed to take action against only the most egregious illegal alien lawbreakers, and even then they have to complete voluminous paperwork for what would normally be routine deportation cases."
ICE is projected to remove 62,000 illegal immigrants in fiscal year 2021, down from about 186,000 in 2020. An even better comparison, she said, is fiscal year 2019, before the pandemic hit, when removals were just over 267,000.
The slip in deportations applied to all types of illegal immigrants, including those with serious criminal convictions, the Beacon reported.
"The records we obtained from ICE include only about the ﬁrst ﬁve months of the Biden administration, but it is possible to compare data from the exact same days in 2019, 2020, and 2021," Vaughan said. ""During Biden’s ﬁrst ﬁve months [Jan. 21 to July 9, 2021] ICE removed 18,713 aliens.
Over the same time period in 2020 [during the height of the pandemic lockdowns] ICE removed 93,247 aliens. Over the same time period in 2019, which was a more normal period of enforcement, ICE removed 186,019 aliens, or nearly 10 times more removals."
Joe Biden’s "deliberate refusal to enforce immigration laws is one of the most clueless and egregious acts of negligence in modern government history," Vaughan told the Examiner.
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