The year 2020 will likely go down in history as one of the most important, surreal, and crazy years of all time. We saw a plague that has a greater than 98% recovery rate that basically shut down the nation, wildfires, riots, and Black Lives Matter revolts. The left tried to tear down history, and white people became the scourge of society. Then, of course, we had the presidential election and suspected fraud. Future generations will have a lot to talk about.
With everything going on this year, coverage of illegal immigration has taken a backseat, but that doesn’t mean the effort to control aliens sneaking across the borders has stopped. In fact, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency stayed busy, deporting more than 185,000 illegal aliens in Fiscal Year 2020.
For the past four years, President Donald Trump has relentlessly fought to secure the nation’s borders while meeting resistance at every turn from the left. In FY 2018, ICE deported 95,360 illegal aliens living inside the U.S. as well as 160,725 that were caught by Border Patrol. This was a 45% increase from Barack Obama’s last year in office when approximately 65,000 were deported. Then, in FY 2019, the nation saw about 267,258 aliens removed – a 4% increase compared to the previous year and almost a 20% rise compared to FY 2017.
Continued lawsuits to prevent building the border wall as well as activists screaming about children being put in cages made these efforts more difficult. And if that weren’t bad enough, sanctuary cities and states have prohibited local law enforcement from working with federal officers. This led to releasing criminals from incarceration without notifying ICE, even when said illegals had detainers on them. Those challenges were enough to diminish the capabilities of immigration enforcement, but just as with everything else in 2020, the COVID pandemic reduced personnel and added restrictions that further complicated the mission.
Despite all the roadblocks, the quest to secure borders and remove illegals was still successful, even if previous years had seen better results.
Although deportations for FY 2020 dropped by more than 20% compared to FY 2019 and more than 27% for FY 2018, this year ICE was able to deport 185,884 illegal immigrants which also included more than 4,200 gang members. According to the agency’s report:
- Of those arrested, 118,949 (or 64%) had criminal convictions or pending charges.
- A total of 399,235 criminal convictions and pending charges were placed against those aliens removed by ICE.
- 4,276 were known suspected gang members – 675 from MS-13.
- 31 were known or suspected terrorists.
- 14,499 were family units.
- 4,056 were unaccompanied alien children.
- ICE conducted 23,932 at-large arrests.
- Approximately 90% of those aliens arrested by ICE had criminal convictions and/or pending charges.
Another noteworthy achievement according to the report:
“The ERO Removal Division’s ICE Air Charter Operations coordinated a record-breaking 76 Special High-Risk Charters to 61 countries, six of which were new countries it had not previously visited: Jordan, Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania and Mongolia, effectuating 3,278 removals. This is a 160% increase in total removals via Special High-Risk Charter flights compared to FY 2019.”
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was also busy with illegal immigrants. The report had these statistics:
- Arrested 31,915 criminal violators.
- Seized more than 1.4 million pounds of narcotics, including 6,105 pounds of fentanyl, a 65% increase from FY 2019.
- Seized $1.8 billion in criminally derived proceeds and assets.
- Confiscated 6,688 weapons.
- Conducted 3,671 gang-related criminal arrests.
- Identified and rescued 1,012 victims of child exploitation and 418 victims of human trafficking.
In addition to apprehending illegal immigrants as well as dangerous criminals, ICE had its hands full treating detainees: “ICE executed a budget exceeding $315 million on medical, dental, and public health services for 99,670 detainees nationwide.”
Faced with constant opposition, harassment, and COVID challenges, the Trump administration’s immigration control efforts have still proved fruitful.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.