DALLAS, Texas (KXAN) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released its year-end numbers Wednesday and highlighted how the border crisis impacted immigration enforcement in 2019.
In 2019, ICE’s Enforcement and Removals Operations officers arrested around 143,000 undocumented immigrants and removed over 267,000. The acting director of ICE Matthew T. Albence said this was an increase in removals from 2018, when more than 256,000 were removed. There were also more than 158,000 arrests in 2018.
Albence said at a press conference in Dallas Wednesday that the nationwide number of immigrants found inadmissible at the border increased by 68% in 2019 from the previous year. However, Albence pointed out that while the number of undocumented immigrants found at the border increased, ICE saw a 10% decrease in arrests.
According to Albence, ICE had to redirect resources to combat the unprecedented surge in illegal activity at the border which caused the lower arrest numbers. Albence said the redistribution of resources was a direct result of the crisis at the border.
“There is no doubt that the border crisis, coupled with the unwillingness of some local jurisdictions that choose to put politics over public safety has made it more difficult for ICE to carry out its Congressionally mandated interior enforcement mission,” Albence said. “No matter where you live in the U.S., your safety is impacted by criminal aliens who came to this country illegally and now live in your neighborhoods.”
Over 86% of the arrests made by ICE in 2019 had criminal convictions or prior charges.
“I want to ensure the American people that the dedicated professional men and women of ICE will remain focused on our critical task at hand and will continue doing everything we can to fulfill our mission to work for the continued safety and security of the American public and this great nation,” Albence said.
The 2019 statistics
The following are the numbers on ERO arrests made in 2019:
- Over 1,900 convictions and charges for homicide
- Over 1,800 convictions and charges for kidnapping
- Over 12,000 sex offenses
- Over 5,000 convictions and charges for sexual assault
- Over 45,000 convictions and charges for assault
- Over 67,000 convictions and charges for drug crimes
- Over 10,000 conviction and charges for weapon offenses
- Over 74,000 conviction and charges for DUIs
ICE saw an increase in removals in 2019 as compared to the previous year. Removals include those arrested by ERO inside the country as well as immigrants apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the border.
The following are the statistics on ICE removals in 2019:
- ICE removed 267,258 immigrants in 2019. That’s an increase from 256,085 in 2018.
- 85% of those removed had previously spent time in ICE detention.
- ICE removed 5,700 immigrants who identified as family unit members, a 110% increase from 2018.
- 91% of those arrested in the country and removed had criminal convictions or pending charges.
ERO manages two dockets, detained and non-detained, for everyone across all stages of the immigration process. ICE says the dockets reached record highs in 2019 due to the unprecedented amount of apprehensions by CBP.
- 79% of those booked into ICE custody came from CBP apprehensions.
- ICE saw a 29% increase in bookings from 2019 and a 58% increase from 2017.
- Daily population of those in ERO custody reached 50,165, which is an increase of 19% from 2018.
- The average length of stay for those detained by ICE was 34.3 days in 2019. That is a decrease from the 39.4 days in 2018 and the 43.7 days in 2017.
More information on ICE’s statistics for 2019 can be found on its website here.