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ICE Deportations of Illegal Immigrant Criminals Dropping Sharply Under Biden

The number of convicted criminal illegal immigrants deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has dropped significantly during the Biden administration, according to data released by the administration, and officials are dramatically lowering targets for years to come.

In its Congressional Budget Justification for fiscal 2024, DHS provided a budget overview for ICE and included information about the numbers for the return and removal of “noncitizens who have a prior criminal conviction from the United States by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).”

In fiscal 2020, the last full year of the Trump administration, the agency aimed to deport 151,000 convicted criminal illegal immigrants, and deported just over 100,000. In fiscal 2021, the target was 97,440 and just 39,149 were removed. By 2022, the first full fiscal year of the Biden administration, the target had dropped to 91,500 and just over 38,000 had been deported.

The agency has now lowered the targets for fiscal 2023 and 2024 to just 29,393 deportations for each year.

In an explanatory note, ICE said it is taking “every action possible to reduce factors that detract from removal performance, including constant efforts to obtain increased levels of cooperation from foreign countries and increasing the frequency of transport for detainees where possible.”


The Biden administration initially tried to put a moratorium on ICE deportations when it entered office but was blocked by a federal judge. It later imposed new restrictions on ICE agents that limited them to arresting and deporting three types of illegal immigrants: recent border crossers, national security threats and public safety threats. Those priorities were also blocked last year as part of a lawsuit that is before the Supreme Court.


The continued targeting of fewer than 30,000 criminal illegal immigrants, down from targets of around 150,000 during the Trump administration, is likely only to fuel criticism from immigration hawks over the Biden administration’s policies.

“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, a former senior DHS official during the Trump administration, told Fox News Digital.


Further into the budget request, the agency said it will reduce the average detained daily population of adults (ADP) by 9,000 from an ADP of 34,000 in fiscal 2023 to approximately 25,000. {snip}


The agency is also planning to scale down its use of Alternatives to Detention (ATD), which monitors migrants primarily through a phone app and other methods such as ankle bracelets. {snip}