More than 185,000 illegal immigrants were deported by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency in Fiscal Year 2020, including over 4,200 gang members and 31 known or suspected terrorists, according to recently released agency data.
In spite of disruptions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, of those 185,884 deported by ICE between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020, 118,949 of them — roughly 64 percent — had criminal convictions or active criminal charges levied against them.
Almost 14,500 deported illegal immigrants were families and just over 4,000 were Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs).
A staggering 92 percent of illegal immigrants deported from the United States had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges when they were deported.
Amid the pandemic, deportations took a dive by over 30 percent compared to Fiscal Year 2019, and more than 27 percent when compared to 2018.
Known or suspected gang members made up 4,276 of the deported illegal immigrants this year. The agency’s air travel deportation operation organized 76 charter flights to Jordan, Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania and Mongolia.
ICE’s high-risk air deportations skyrocketed 160 percent in 2020 year over year. The agency also topped 350 deportations of high-profile illegal immigrants, including Saudin Agani, a Bosnian national convicted of assisting a terrorist group.
One of President Donald Trump’s primary focuses since taking office in 2016 was immigration enforcement, including building a wall along the southern border of the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security has already built around 426 miles of the border wall and contractors are working nonstop to meet their goal of 450 miles by the new year.
Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of President Donald Trump’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, highlighted the group’s progress on social media, tweeting, “We have completed more than 426 miles of new border wall system, and we’re going to meet our mark of 450 miles by the end of the year.”
President-Elect Joe Biden has vowed to stop illegal alien deportations regardless of criminal activity, as well as reel in a number of enforcement methods.
“End the so-called National Emergency that siphons federal dollars from the Department of Defense to build a wall. Building a wall will do little to deter criminals and cartels seeking to exploit our borders,” the Biden-Harris website stated. “Instead of stealing resources from schools for military children and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, Biden will direct federal resources to smart border enforcement efforts, like investments in improving screening infrastructure at our ports of entry, that will actually keep America safer.”
The Center for Immigration Studies found that each deportation costs American taxpayers roughly $10,900, whereas around 11 million to 22 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. reaches almost $750 billion over a lifetime.