The total number of illegal aliens arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is down nearly 10 percent in fiscal year 2019, the agency announced on Wednesday. Acting Director Matthew Albence said the agency expected a lower number of arrests because ICE had to redirect resources to deal with the unprecedented surge at the border and sanctuary policies that prevent the agency from arresting criminal aliens.
“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 was quoted in a statement. “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. Despite our significant challenges, and as evidenced by the tremendous work of the professional men and women of ERO, ICE remains committed to removing dangerous, recidivist criminals from our communities and restoring integrity to the nation’s immigration system.”
ICE arrested around 143,000 aliens in fiscal year 2019, more than 86 percent of who had criminal records or pending charges. In real numbers, this means around 13,000 fewer criminals were arrested in fiscal year 2019 compared to fiscal year 2018. These are criminals who remain at-large in the United States and some of them will continue to victimize innocent people.
Of the 143,000 criminal aliens ICE did arrest, more than 1,900 had been convicted or charged for homicide, more than 1,800 for kidnapping, more than 1,200 for sex crimes and over 74,000 for driving under the influence. More than 67,000 aliens were arrested for drug crimes, more than 10,000 for weapons offenses and over 45,000 on charges of assault. ICE noted their Dallas Field Office, which covers North Texas and Oklahoma and enjoys tremendous cooperation with local law enforcement, accounted for the largest number of ICE arrests.
When ICE apprehends aliens and subsequently releases them from ICE custody, the aliens are placed on a non-detained docket. ICE also announced the non-detained docket surpassed 3 million cases for the first time in fiscal year 2019. ICE credits the record high to the historic levels of apprehensions made by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Southwest Border.