Immigration arrests in the interior of the United States fell in fiscal 2021 to the lowest level in more than a decade — roughly half the annual totals recorded during the Trump administration, reports the Washington Post.
Officers working for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency made about 72,000 administrative arrests during the fiscal year that ended in September, down from 104,000 during the 2020 fiscal year and an average of 148,000 annually from 2017 through 2019.
During the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2021, the 6,000 agents in ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) division, averaged about 12 immigration arrests per year, or one per month. The peak of ICE enforcement activity during the past decade was fiscal 2011, when ICE made 322,093 administrative arrests, about 4.5 times the 2021 total, historical data show.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’s new ICE guidelines instruct officers to continue to prioritize immigrants who pose a threat to national security and public safety, as well as recent border-crossers who entered the United States illegally.
Between Feb. 18 and Aug. 31, ICE arrested 6,046 individuals with aggravated felony convictions, compared with 3,575 in the same period in 2020. They also pointed to the arrest of 363 sex offenders during a targeted operation this summer, compared with 194 during that period the previous year. Nearly 80 percent of these offenses involved child victims.