ICE data shows Biden has removed fewer illegal immigrants than Trump, despite record encounters

by ian

Ian Patrick, FISM News


New Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data shows that the Biden administration is removing far less illegal immigrants than the Trump administration had, despite also having record numbers of migrant encounters at the southern border.

The data was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act and provided by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). CIS states in their overview of the data that the “Biden administration policies have caused a sharp decline in all removals, and in the removal of criminal aliens.”

According to the data provided, overall removals including both removals at the border and within the United States in fiscal year 2021 stood at 59,011. In fiscal year 2020, under the Trump administration, removals ended at 185,884. The difference shows a 68% drop from FY 2020 to FY 2021.

The data also provides the numbers from fiscal year 2019, which saw 267,258 total removals. The difference from FY 2019 to FY 2021 shows an even greater decrease of almost 78%. This is notable because, as the CIS states, 2019 was “the last full year under Trump administration policies and the last full year in which ICE operated without pandemic restrictions.”

In addition to the concerning lack of overall removals, this data shows that the number of convicted criminals and felons removed from the U.S. also dropped significantly.

“Removals of convicted criminals fell 62 percent in 2021, to 39,149 from 103,762 in 2020,” the report says, adding that the removals for “aggravated felons fell 43 percent in 2021, to 5,221 from 9,161 in 2020.”

The report states some people have made the argument that the decline in “removals is due to the use of Title 42 authority at the border, in which illegal border-crossers are expelled instead of removed.” However, the data shows that there was a significant drop in interior removals as well as removals at the border.

Interior removals dropped by 50 percent in 2021, from 62,730 in 2020 to 31,557 in 2021 — and remained far below the 2019 level of 85,958, even as pandemic restrictions began to ease in the interior in 2021. Similarly, removals of criminal aliens from the interior also dropped significantly, from 48,606 in 2020 to 26,210 in 2021 — despite the alleged focus on removing criminals and other threats to public safety.

This data comes amidst reports of record encounters at the southwestern border in 2022, which are on pace to surpass the record-breaking numbers in 2021.

CIS notes that this data set contradicts ICE’s previously released annual report for FY 2021, in which the branch claims that it removed “an average of 937 aggravated felons per month — the highest level ever recorded since ICE began collecting detailed criminality data.”

CIS states that this data table shows 5,221 aggravated felons being removed that year “with 3,028 of them occurring on February 18 or after.” This is reportedly “a rate of 13 per day, or just over 400 per month.”

ICE’s report also said that “twenty six percent of ICE removals were of aggravated felons” but CIS contradicts this statement saying “3,028 out of 31,040 removals were aggravated felons, which is just under 10 percent, not 26 percent.”