Biden’s DHS Plans to Slash ICE Criminal Alien Deportations

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: U.S. President Joe Biden participates in a meeting with Japan
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Deportations of illegal alien convicts have dropped steeply since President Joe Biden took office, and he plans even fewer deportations of the population this year.

“Under the Biden administration, immigration enforcement has taken a back seat to open borders policymaking, and this offensive FY24 budget is yet another example,” Joe Edlow, who served as a senior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official in the Trump administration, told Fox News.

Edlow added:

With over 400,000 convicted criminal aliens in the non-detained docket, why is the agency charged with enforcing immigration laws hoping to remove less than 30,000 of them? It is time for congressional appropriators to make sure ICE enforces the law and restores a semblance of integrity to interior enforcement.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned or removed 38,477 criminal migrants from the United States in Fiscal Year 2022, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) budget proposal for ICE in 2024. This was more than 50 percent below the 91,500 goal in Biden”s first full fiscal year.

The 2022 figure marks a 74 percent decrease from Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 when ICE returned 150,141 illegal convicts to their countries of origin or removed them from the United States under then-President Donald Trump’s administration. ICE was right on par with the goal of 151,000 deportations that year, which followed 145,262 deportations in FY 2018.

In the “Corrective Action” portion of the budget justification, the DHS noted that ICE is working to gain “increased levels of cooperation from foreign countries” and expedite deportations “when possible.”

“Expeditiously hiring more deportation officers and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) attorneys to improve docket management can reduce roadblocks and inefficiencies in the removal process,” it added.

Additionally, the DHS blamed “significantly low removal numbers” on “environmental factors and policy environment,” insisting that “operational performance” had less of an impact. One such factor the DHS pointed to was the Coronavirus pandemic.

In Fiscal Year 2020, which saw the start of the pandemic, there were 103,762 deportations, down from the previous two years under the Trump Administration. The following fiscal year, which was virtually split between Trump and Biden, yielded 39,149 ICE deportations of criminal aliens.

The DHS argued that deportations “trend[ed] upward” throughout FY 2022, though the 11,458 in the last quarter are still a far cry from the norms of the Trump Administration.

And even though numbers are “trending upward,” Biden’s DHS plans to reduce the number of ICE deportations of the criminal population again, with a target of just 29,389 in the 2023 and 2024 Fiscal years.

ICE also intends to lower its “[a]verage daily population of noncitizens maintained in detention facilities” to 25,000 in Fiscal Year 2024. This would be the lowest number dating back to at least 2018.

The DHS seeks $8.7 billion in funding for ICE in 2024.

In January, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas implemented a policy directing ICE agents “to raise pay for the millions of illegal migrants who are pushing many older, slower, and sicker Americans out of the workforce,” as Breitbart News’s Neil Munro reported.

This came months after the Biden Administration allowed the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) to “eliminate…from its membership” a labor union representing some 6,800 ICE agents, who were subsequently left without a collective bargaining agreement.


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