The Biden administration removed almost 80% fewer illegal immigrants in fiscal year 2021 than former President Donald Trump did in 2019, the last full year before coronavirus restrictions, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data, Just The News reported on Sunday.
ICE removed fewer than 60,000 illegal immigrants in fiscal year 2021, a period that covers Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021, part of which includes the last months of the Trump administration. The ICE data was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act requested by the Center for Immigration Studies.
In comparison, more than 265,000 illegal migrants were deported in 2019. In 2020, the first year of pandemic restrictions, more than 185,000 illegal immigrants were deported.
The lower number of deportations under Biden comes despite having record numbers of illegal immigrant encounters on the Mexican border in fiscal year 2021: more than 1.7 million. The record is on pace to be broken again this fiscal year, as there were almost 1.3 million encounters as of April.
The surge in illegal immigrants comes as the Biden administration is attempting to legally lift Title 42, a measure instituted during the Trump presidency in order to limit immigrants during the pandemic, according to Just The News.
If the Biden administration is successful in its legal efforts to lift the measure, there are expected to be some 18,000 illegal immigrants a day at the border with Mexico.
Former Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told the “John Solomon Reports” podcast last month that the situation is making Border Patrol officers feel “demoralized.”
“We literally handed over operational control to the cartels,” Morgan said. “It’s way beyond the millions that have been smuggled in this country.”