As it faces an uncertain future with presumptive President-elect Joe Biden looming, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Wednesday that during the 2020 fiscal year, it removed more than 4,000 known or suspected gang members from America.
Overall, according to its annual report, ICE’s Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations sent 185,884 people out of the country.
‘The vast majority of ICE ERO’s interior removals — 92 percent — had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges, demonstrating ICE ERO’s commitment to removing those who pose the greatest risk to the safety and security of the United States,” the report said.
“During FY 2020, ICE ERO maintained its commitment to removing those aliens posing the greatest risk to the safety and security of the United States. The vast majority of removals in FY 2020 were of aliens with a criminal history,” ICE reported.
In FY20, @ICEgovERO conducted 185,884 removals. Of these individuals, nearly 119K had criminal convictions or had pending criminal charges. Those 119K had a combined total of nearly 400K criminal convictions or pending charges. Learn more: https://t.co/q4HFSZX3An pic.twitter.com/Jp1kNtZGTW
— ICE (@ICEgov) December 23, 2020
For the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2019, and ended Sept. 30, 2020, ICE booted 4,276 known or suspected gang members, and 31 known or suspected terrorists.
“ICE ERO removals of known or suspected gang members and known or suspected terrorists (KSTs) are instrumental to the agency’s national security and public safety mission. ICE ERO identifies gang members and KSTs by checking an alien’s background in federal law enforcement databases, conducting interviews with aliens, and reviewing information received from its law enforcement partners, which is noted accordingly in the agency’s system of record,” the agency reported.
ICE noted that it issues what are called detainers to stop local law enforcement agencies from releasing illegal immigrants in police custody.
“In FY 2020, ICE ERO issued 122,233 detainers, and the aliens who were the subjects of these detainers had criminal histories including, but not limited to, the following crimes: more than 1,900 homicide-related offenses, 1,900 kidnappings, 3,600 robberies, 42,800 assaults, and 11,900 sex crimes,” the report said.
In a statement on ICE’s website, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Tony Pham said the agency has been flexible amid the pandemic.
“The men and women who represent ICE have risen to the challenges presented this fiscal year, including the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest,” he said.
“A prime example of our agility as an agency as a direct operational pivot to COVID-19 was our ability to return more than 1,000 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who were stranded abroad as airports began to shut down because of the pandemic,” he added.
“This is but one example of ICE’s nimble efforts to complete our mission, serve our country and safeguard the homeland and her citizens. The cumulative efforts made this year are a tribute to our exemplary workforce, who, despite professional and personal challenges presented by the pandemic, have remained committed to their sworn duty to protecting the interests of the United States and her people,” Pham said.
The achievements come as Biden has promised to put in place a 100-day moratorium on deportations by ICE, according to Fox News.
ICE also conducts a project called “Operation Broken Promise,” which tracks down illegal immigrants who said they would leave the country but never did.
Over an 11-day period in December, ICE announced that it arrested more than 150 individuals, including 117 who were allowed to voluntarily leave the country but remained. ICE had arrested 150 people over a 15-day period in November for remaining in the country after promising to leave.
“Our officers are committed to preserving the integrity of our nation’s immigration laws and are strengthening the overall safety, security and well-being of our communities,” Pham said.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.