According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) annual report, deportations of illegal immigrants increased marginally in FY 2022 compared to the prior fiscal year, but remained significantly lower than during the Trump administration as ICE diverted significant resources to support overworked Border Patrol agents at the southern border, Fox News reported.
According to ICE’s report, the agency deported 72,177 illegal immigrants in FY 2022, which was a small increase from the 59,011 deportations in FY 2021. The number of deportations fell significantly from 267,258 in FY 2019 and 185,884 in FY 20 (the final full fiscal year of the Trump administration).
According to the government, among those deportations were removals to more than 150 nations, with charter flights accounting for almost half of them. 2,667 known or suspected gang members, 55 known or suspected terrorists, and 74 fugitives wanted for crimes like rape, murder, and kidnapping were among those deported, Fox News said.
Illegal immigrants made up the majority of the deportations, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was responsible for their apprehension. There were only 28,204 deportations for which ICE was the arresting agency, down from 31,557 in FY21 and 62,739 in FY 20.
The agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) made 142,750 administrative arrests in FY 2022 compared to just 74,082 in FY21, a considerable increase in arrests. There were 103,603 arrests in FY 20 compared to 143,099 in FY 19.
According to the report, however, the rise in arrests can be primarily attributed to the rise in Border Patrol encounters at the southern border, which reached 2.3 million encounters in FY2022, and the limited resources that ICE has been forced to divert to help its fellow DHS agency process those migrant encounters into the interior.
According to officials, the majority of the over 96,000 arrests for “other immigration violators” were related to migration across the southern border. The agency reported a “substantial workload increase” as a result of having to shift its attention away from its usual focus on interior enforcement and toward recent border crossers.
When the Biden government first took office in 2021, it attempted to impose a moratorium on all deportations but was unsuccessful due to legal challenges. It then put into effect new rules that drastically reduced the list of people that ICE agents might arrest and deport.