(CNN) – Immigration arrests in the United States have declined under the presidency of Joe Biden compared to his predecessor, who expanded the concept of who is eligible for detention, according to data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Posted on Friday.
Under the Biden administration, the Department of Homeland Security implemented a series of policy changes that marked a departure from the Trump administration’s aggressive actions. This included amending guidelines to focus arrests on national security, public safety, and border security risks.
ICE enforcement and removals carried out more than 74,000 administrative detentions — for immigration violations — in fiscal year 2021, according to agency data, a number lower than during the Trump administration when annual administrative arrests were made. exceed 100,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, under the previous administration, gave clients more freedom to make arrests.
Senior ICE officials on Friday stressed the pandemic’s impact on operations, noting the difficulty of comparing the data to previous years.
“I can’t stress enough the impact that Covid has had on the agency, really over the past year and a half, but certainly [durante] A senior official said, referring to the closures and the fact that other countries have refused to accept deportation cases.
The 2021 fiscal year data covers the final months of the Trump administration and the beginning of the Biden era.
Of the total arrests made, 45,755 occurred after Immigration and Customs Enforcement changed its guidance last February under the Biden administration, newly released data shows. Nearly half of these arrests were of convicted criminals, while 55 percent of those arrested were classified as “border security threats,” including people arrested by the US Border Patrol.
Returning to a priority system for arrests was one of several policy changes instituted under the Biden administration. Over the past year, ICE has also canceled contracts with two detention centers, halted long-term detention for families, halted mass immigration raids on workplaces, and begun moving toward alternatives to detention, such as electronic ankle bracelets.
A senior Immigration and Customs Enforcement official told reporters Friday that the “focused approach has had significant success,” including, for example, a doubling of aggravated criminal arrests over the previous year.
Deportations also fell sharply in the first year of the Biden administration. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported about 59,000 last year, up from 185,884 the previous year.
The structural changes are being overseen by ICE’s acting director, Ty Johnson, who remained at the helm of the agency during Ed Gonzalez’s lengthy confirmation process as ICE director.
This week, isTo confirm Gonzalez She faced a snag after Senate Democrats dropped a vote to advance his nomination when an alleged internal complaint surfaced. The White House said it remains on the side of Gonzalez, who has called the allegations in the complaint false.
While immigration advocates and Democratic lawmakers have welcomed the changes to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, they have criticized the continued use of special detention and access to Covid-19 vaccines for detainees.
Earlier this month, the ACLU also filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against ICE, alleging that the federal agency failed to provide COVID-19 booster shots to medically at risk detainees.