Sanctuary Country: Criminal Illegal Aliens in ICE Custody Cut by 70 Percent

Dawit Kelete wears handcuffs chained to his waist as he walks into a court appearance Mond
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

President Joe Biden’s “sanctuary country” orders have helped cut the number of convicted criminal illegal aliens in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody by 70 percent since 2019, the latest data reveals.

Data collected by the Transactional Research Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University shows that as of March 31, just 13,914 total illegal aliens were in ICE custody. For comparison, in May 2019, nearly 50,000 illegal aliens were in ICE custody — a 72 percent drop.

Of the nearly 14,000 illegal aliens in ICE custody today, more than 5,100 are convicted criminals and 919 others have pending criminal charges against them. In May 2019, more than 17,500 convicted criminals were in ICE custody, as well as nearly 5,700 illegal aliens with pending criminal charges.

The data indicates a 70 percent reduction in the number of convicted criminal illegal aliens in ICE custody compared to less than two years ago. In addition, the number of illegal aliens with pending criminal charges against them who are in ICE custody has been cut by 84 percent.

(Screenshot via TRAC)

In February, top DHS officials announced sanctuary country policies that prevent ICE agents from arresting and deporting about 9-in-10 illegal aliens who would otherwise be deported.

These policies require that ICE agents only prioritize arrest and deportation for illegal aliens who have been recently convicted of aggravated felonies or are terrorists or known gang members. As a result, convicted illegal alien felons are being released into American communities.

Now, multiple states — including Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, and Arizona — are suing the Biden administration over the orders, arguing that the White House is violating federal immigration law by providing sanctuary to the vast majority of illegal aliens living in the U.S.

Likewise, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has issued crackdowns on illegal immigration to counteract the Biden orders.

On April 1, DeSantis directed state agencies to identify criminal illegal aliens in prison and “pursue all legal means available to transfer them to ICE custody upon completion of their Florida prison terms.” State agencies must now notify local law enforcement every time a criminal illegal alien is released into their community because of the Biden orders.

DeSantis is also mandating monthly updates to his office from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on all criminal illegal aliens who have had their ICE detainers lifted before their release dates from prison and when criminal illegal aliens are released in Florida at ICE’s direction.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here.


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