The Biden administration’s lax immigration policies have led to a record-low number of deportations.
In April, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 2,962 illegal immigrants, a 20 percent fall from March, when 3,716 illegal immigrants were deported, The Washington Post reported.
Between fiscal years 2017 and 2020, roughly corresponding to the time Trump was president, 935,346 illegal immigrants were deported, according to Forbes.
The April deportation number was a record, according to The Post, and marked the first time deportations have ever dipped below 3,000 in any month.
It also came in a month during which Customs and Border Protection data shows that in April, there were about 162,000 encounters with migrants along the southern border, Fox News reported.
Meanwhile, illegal border crossings are at a 20-year high, according to The Post.
President Joe Biden came into office in January calling for a 100-day moratorium on deportations.
Although that rule was tossed out by a judge, internal guidance issued for ICE agents required multiple layers of bureaucratic approvals for anyone to be deported.
The Post noted that privately, “ICE officials say their work is being essentially abolished through restrictions on their ability to make arrests and deportations.”
But publicly, ICE said its work is to protect America by only targeting the greatest threats for possible deportation.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has concentrated its limited law enforcement resources on threats to national security, border security, and public safety,” the agency said in a statement.
“This has allowed ICE to focus on the quality of enforcement actions and how they further the security and safety of our communities rather than the simple quantity of arrests and removals.”
At the rate ICE is going, it would deport fewer than 55,000 illegal immigrants in the 2021 fiscal year, putting it on track for the first year of fewer than 100,000 deportations.
“This administration has de-emphasized the likelihood that people would get arrested if they aren’t a threat to public safety or recently crossed the border, so they are not going to have strong removal numbers,” Ronald Vitiello, ICE’s acting director in 2018 and 2019, told The Post.
“That’s part of a signal being sent — that immigration enforcement isn’t a priority for this team,” Vitiello said.
“The odds of being arrested just for being in the country illegally were always extremely low, and now they’ve basically ruled it out by policy,” he said.
The pace of deportations in 2020 slowed due to the impact of the pandemic and Trump-era policies that sent most illegal immigrants back to Mexico before they could get into the interior of the country.
The Post report said that ICE arrests in the interior are averaging about 2,500 a month under Biden. Under Trump, arrests were at about 10,000 a month pre-pandemic and about 6,000 a month after March 2020.
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