The number of deportations carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last month fell to the lowest monthly level on record, a drop that comes as illegal border crossings remain at a 20-year high, according to the latest enforcement data, obtained by The Washington Post.
ICE deported 2,962 immigrants in April, according to the agency. It is the first time the monthly figure has dipped below 3,000, records show. The April total is a 20 percent decline from March, when ICE deported 3,716.
President Biden and his Department of Homeland Security team have issued new rules to rein in ICE officers, who were afforded wide latitude under the Trump administration to make arrests and were encouraged to boost deportations.
Biden has resisted calls from activists and some lawmakers to abolish ICE, and his top DHS officials say they will reform the agency and restore its reputation by focusing on criminals who pose public-safety or national security threats. In private, ICE officials say their work is being essentially abolished through restrictions on their ability to make arrests and deportations.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has concentrated its limited law enforcement resources on threats to national security, border security, and public safety,” the agency said in a statement Wednesday. “This has allowed ICE to focus on the quality of enforcement actions and how they further the security and safety of our communities rather than the simple quantity of arrests and removals.”
Since Biden changed ICE’s priorities and ordered a 100-day deportation moratorium, interior arrests by ICE officers have plunged more than half, records show. A federal judge blocked the 100-day moratorium in February, and the Republican governors of several states are suing the Biden administration to force a reversal of his ICE directives.
Don’t you feel bad for those ICE agents? It’s so hard to not be able to be a racist strike force against the brown people! Why even sign up for the job if I can’t break up families and ruin people’s lives? Might as well just join the police!