U.S. immigration officials deported 12,000 family members and unaccompanied minors last fiscal year, far fewer than the “millions” President Donald Trump pledged to arrest months ago in frustration about rising border crossings, according to a federal report released Wednesday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 5,702 family members in the year ending September 30, a 110 percent jump from the prior year, the Washington Post reports. Officials also deported 6,351 people who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border as unaccompanied minors, a 14 percent increase. Some had arrived in the United States as long as five years ago.
The tally comes months after Trump fumed about the record influx of Central American parents and children surrendering at the U.S. border to seek asylum, thwarting his efforts to secure the U.S.-Mexico boundary and to increase arrests of immigrants convicted of serious crimes inside the U.S. Trump threatened mass arrests of families last June, though his public proclamations about the mission upended the planned roundup, known as Operation Border Resolve. The operation originally targeted 2,100 families but caught just 18 people. Officials acknowledged that the expulsions of families and unaccompanied minors were “a small fraction” of those who entered the U.S. during the fiscal year. More than 540,000 family members and unaccompanied minors crossed the border, and most were released into the United States, pushing the agency’s docket of “non-detained” immigrants past 3.2 million. Overall, ICE deported more than 267,000 people last fiscal year, four percent more than the year before and significantly lower than the peak of 400,000 annual deportations in President Barack Obama’s administration.