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According to data obtained by the Washington Times, Immigration and Customs Enforcement made 75% fewer arrests during the first seven weeks of the Biden Administration than during the corresponding seven-week period last year. Also, the data shows cases involving threats to national security and/or public safety, usually the most prolific, also seeing significant drops in numbers.

The Biden Administration has made restraining ICE an essential aspect of its immigration agenda, even attempting to rationalize the decision as targeting ‘bad actors’ rather than all illegal aliens. However, because of this, criminal illegal aliens are now no longer being transferred to ICE custody for removal. The Washington Times reports just how significant the drops in cases are.

Non-priority arrests dropped more than 80%, from 17,810 to 3,306. Priority arrests fell less sharply but still dropped by more than 30%, from 2,771 last year to 1,897 this year.

Among the priority categories of security and safety cases, arrests of migrants with sexual assault charges were down more than 20%, weapons-offense arrests slid nearly 30%, and arrests of kidnappers were down nearly 40% compared to the same period a year ago. The data compared Jan. 20 to March 8 for both years...

According to the data, ICE agents and officers made 269 arrests of migrants whose most serious charge was assault during the early weeks of the Biden administration and who were deemed safety or security threats. Last year the figure was 462.

For homicides, arrests fell from 127 to 105. Burglars dropped from 149 to 59. Sexual assault-based arrests dropped from 213 to 167. Drunken-driving arrests fell from 24 to 7.
Immigration-crimes arrests were cut by more than half, from 132 to 61.

The only categories to show increases were “general crimes,” which went from 24 to 30; arson, which went from five to six; and threats, which rose from six to eight. Of those eight threat cases in 2021, four were deemed national security cases and four were public safety priorities.

In a statement earlier this week, ICE repeated its claim that the agency is better able to focus on key cases with its new priorities. Paige Hughes, an ICE spokesperson, added, “Among many other effects, since March 2020 the pandemic has significantly reduced the number of noncitizens ICE has been able to arrest at-large and in custodial settings in the interior.”

Thomas Homan, a senior ICE official in the Obama Admin. and then Acting Director of ICE under President Trump, argued that the purpose of ICE is often misrepresented by politicians and media, adding that 91% of ICE arrests in 2020 had criminal records. Homan reminded the Washington Times’ readers that the decrease in cases means criminals are allowed to remain in American communities.

Mr. Homan also disputed the Biden Administration’s argument that it needed to change ICE’s priorities due to low resources: “That is a lie. There is no lack of resources. ICE officers and leadership have told me that they have nothing to do,” he said.

According to the Washington Times article, ICE had detailed lists of arrest priorities during the Obama years - focusing primarily on serious felonies, recent border crossers, and aliens defying deportation orders. Under the Trump Administration, those limits were removed, and while there were still removal priorities, if officers came across other aliens, they could make an arrest.

Now, during the Biden Administration, the Obama priorities have returned but in a more limited way. Currently, under a Feb. 18th order from Acting Director Tae Johnson, ICE has three priority categories; recent border crossers, national security threats, and threats to public safety. To arrest aliens outside of those categories, officers must submit a written request, further reducing the amount of time ICE has to arrest an alien before their release from local authorities.

For the complete article, please visit the Washington Times.

Updated: Wed, Apr 28th 2021 @ 12:55pm EDT