ICE data shows dramatic drop in deportations under Joe Biden

ICE removals fell nearly 80% from 2019, the last full pre-pandemic year under Trump

Updated: May 22, 2022 - 6:04pm

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data shows the Biden administration is removing far fewer illegal immigrants than former President Donald Trump, despite also having record numbers of illegal migrant encounters on the Southern Border.

In fiscal year 2021, which ran from Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021, ICE removed fewer than 60,000 illegal immigrants, according to agency data obtained last week through a FOIA from the Center for Immigration Studies. ICE operated under Trump's policies from October through January when Biden took office.

In 2020 under Trump and during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, ICE removed more than 185,000 illegal aliens. However, FY 2021 saw a nearly 80% decrease in deportations compared to 2019, the last full year without pandemic restrictions when more than 265,000 illegal migrants were deported under President Trump.

ICE data in December showed that deportations dropped to decades-low levels during the first six months of the Biden administration.

U.S. Border Patrol hit a record of more than 1.7 million illegal migrant encounters on the southern border in FY 21. With nearly 1.3 million encounters as of April in FY 2022, the United States is set to break that record two years in a row.

Border Patrol agents are reportedly using a "parole" exception to quickly release tens of thousands of immigrants into the United States with only a U.S. background check.

The Biden administration is in a legal battle to lift Title 42, a Trump-era measure to limit migration during the pandemic. If the rule is lifted, agents are prepared to expect up to 18,000 illegal immigrants a day at the southern border.

Border Patrol officers already feel "demoralized," former Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told the "John Solomon Reports" podcast last month. 

"We literally handed over operational control to the cartels. It's way beyond the millions that have been smuggled in this country," he said.