The Biden White House is holding back on releasing information setting out the number of illegal immigrants apprehended and removed from the country during 2021. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) did not release an annual report last year. ICE has issued a standard report every other year over the previous decade. The previous ICE yearly report was released during the Trump administration on December 23, 2020.
ICE has not disclosed whether the 2021 report has been completed. The typical report summarizes the agency’s deportation and immigration enforcement actions throughout the year. It also identifies security threats handled by the ICE during the year.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has publicly demanded to know the motives behind the failure to release the report. He said that he has also been asking about “radical policy changes” at ICE for months without success. He added that holding back the annual statistics shows a failure on the part of the agency.
The administration reportedly failed to comply with federal law last November when it did not release a separate report detailing the number of illegal aliens who have entered the country. Last year marked more arrests for illegal border crossings than any other year in history.
The latest RealClearPolitics polling average shows that only 35 percent of American voters approve of Biden’s management of immigration policy.
During the Trump Administration, former ICE chief of staff Jon Feere told the Washington Free Beacon that it is “absolutely shocking” that ICE has failed to release its annual report. He said he “can’t imagine the outcry” if the agency had not produced the report during his tenure.
In addition to deportation statistics, the 2020 ICE annual report included data related to agency actions directed at stopping fraud and abuse when the agency seized more than $18 million connected to COVID pandemic relief fund criminal activity.
Even though immigration policy approval ratings are crashing, Democrats in Washington remain committed to an open borders policy. Last year, Senate Democrats proposed an appropriations bill that cuts more than $500 million from Customs and Border Protection funding and slashes $40 million from the ICE budget.