by Mark Krikorian
Thursday, 9
December 2021
Explainer
17:00

Joe Biden is turning a blind eye to illegal immigrants

An extreme drop in deportations has coincided with a nationwide crimewave
by Mark Krikorian

When Joe Biden became president, his administration issued a series of directives to immigration agents to prioritise the worst criminals for deportation, so as to focus resources on the greatest threats to public safety. The goal was to decrease the (relatively small) number of illegal immigrant non-criminals who are deported, while increasing deportations of criminals.

What’s happened instead is a collapse of immigration enforcement across the board.

Deportation data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request reveals that during the first five months of the Biden administration, deportations declined dramatically, not just from the same period in 2019, which was the last year of normal immigration enforcement, but even from the pandemic shutdown levels of 2020.

These deportations, known bureaucratically as “removals”, do not include people pushed back across the frontier by the Border Patrol. Instead, these are people taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), usually in the interior of the country.

The decline is breath-taking. During the same period in each of the three years (January 21 to July 9), removals halved from 186,000 in 2019 to 93,000 in 2020, before falling a further 80% this year to fewer than 19,000. That translates to a decline of 90% from 2019.

Nor was the Trump administration deporting an extraordinary number of people. The number of illegals deported in all of 2019 (about 267,000) was lower than all but two years of the Obama administration, mainly because of obstruction by states and localities with “sanctuary” policies preventing cooperation with federal immigration authorities. 

But what about deportations of serious criminals? The good news is that, during the first five months of Biden’s first term, the percentage of deportees who’d been convicted of serious crimes went up, from 9% in 2019 to 32% in 2021. (Almost all the rest were also criminals, but convicted of less serious offences.) The bad news is that the overall number of deportations declined so dramatically that even the number of serious criminals among them dropped by two-thirds, to just 6,000 nationwide.

The number of illegal immigrants removed who’d been convicted of homicide or sexual assault dropped by half from 2019 to 2021 with robbery, down 65%; weapons charges down 70%; and burglary down 80%. This in the midst of an unprecedented crime wave.

Actually, it’s remarkable that even this many illegal immigrants were removed. The Biden administration has handcuffed ICE agents to an almost comical degree. My colleague Jessica Vaughan, who prepared the report on deportations, writes that in almost all cases:

“Before making an arrest, ICE officers must prepare a multi-page memo compiling an exhaustive immigration history for the alien, describing every encounter, arrest, detention, or other event, along with the disposition of each event, even those that occurred many years ago.”
- Jessica Vaughan

And this is only one stage in the new, onerous process intended to prevent immigration agents from being able to take deportable illegal immigrants into custody. 

It gets worse. A new policy on “protected” areas, near which immigration officers may not even question illegal immigrants or do surveillance, is so broad as to turn the whole country into a de facto sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Another colleague prepared a map of downtown Washington, D.C., from the White House west to Georgetown, shading in red the “protected” areas. Needless to say, virtually the entire map is red.

Immigrants, legal or illegal, aren’t uniquely prone to criminality. But, whatever its broader approach to immigration, any federal administration has an obligation to energetically pursue and remove those who are criminals. The Biden administration has intentionally reneged on that obligation.

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James Joyce
James Joyce
9 months ago

This is my thing, the issue I care about most, maybe after corruption. Once again, the headline is wrong. Sleepy Joe is not turning a blind eye to illegal immigration, Sleepy Joe is welcoming them in–allowing those already here to stay and welcoming more in by the millions, literally.
Why is it hard-right, extreme, xenophobic to say that illegal immigrants are not welcome? And who should determine who can live lawfully in the US–or in the EU for that matter? Should it be the people, through their elected representatives? Or should it be the invading hordes themselves who say–We’re here, we’re not going anywhere, we dare you to deport us–or even try?
Gentle Reader, are you aware of the scale of the problem? The MSM often uses the figure of 11mm, though the likely numbers are much higher. If there is a massive legalization, expect 20-30mm (the estimate of a recent Yale uni study) economic terrorists to come forward and claim amnesty. When Reagan declared an amnesty in the 80s it legalized about 3mm illegals, was subject to massive fraud, and was explicitly a “one time” amnesty in exchange for border security and other things like making sure workers in America have permission to work in America–the system never changed and is a massive joke.
Take the so-called “dreamers,” almost 1mm illegal immigrants brought to the US as children, still there. Obama championed these illegal immigrants–he went around the country speaking on their behalf. He used a tremendous amount of political capital to put them on a path to citizenship. He said that this must be done through legislation, that he was not a king but a president, and he didn’t have the power to unilaterally legalize them. The so-called “dreamers” had a vote. They won in the House, lost in the Senate. They lost. What happened next? Obama, the supposed Constitutional scholar, raised his middle finger to America, to the Constitution, and did exactly what he said he did not have the power to do–he attempted to legalize them. This was blatantly illegal and will one day be overturned by the courts, but they are still in the US. Sickening!
I want each and every member of this group–I’m afraid to use my preferred term–so let’s call them “economic terrorists” (My preferred term is what scientists call rabbits in Australia, lion fish in the Caribbean, pythons in Florida–do the maths)–to be rounded up and deported. Without fear or favor. No exceptions. ALL MUST GO!
Gentle Readers, please tell me how that is hard-right? Maybe it’s hardball, but how is it racist? How is it xenophobic? How is bad in any way? Doesn’t it uphold the Constitution. The rule of law? Don’t the American people have a say? We need to harden the target and make life painful–even intolerable–to these invaders.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
9 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Of course, it’s not hard anything. Your argument is logical but not fashionable. Today, with instant communication, fashion rules whatever the counter-arguments.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago

Biden has not given up on Illegal Immigration, he made a policy change is all, he decided to Outsource USA Immigration Policy to Mexican People Smuggling/Drug Cartels. It is merely a form of ‘Privatizing’, and pretty much in line with Democrat policies anytime ‘Justice’ and ‘Law Enforcement’ policy is being made.

Like how he has given George Soros the job of appointing DAs in Democrat jurisdictions, and Antifa the job of Policing Protests, and Radical Neo-Marxists given charge of Education at the Local and National level. It is just what the voters asked for, it is Democracy, I mean from Pelosi down to AOC these were the platforms Biden was elected on. Biden is just doing what he said would do during his campaign.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The amazing thing to me is that, despite the views posted on UnHerd, this pro-immigration thing is supported by so many clever people. Last week I read an article in The New Statesman by Rowan Williams. OK, let’s get some out name-calling out of the way – Churchy, Lefty.
In the article he was saying that it was inhuman to keep these people out of the country – OK, probably true – and it was up to the world’s political leaders to sort out the problem but we shouldn’t persecute the poor refugees. When have the world’s political leaders ever sorted anything out?
In two weeks my annual subscription to UnHerd lapses and I am not renewing. Why? Because amateur politicians like Rowan Williams, me and UnHerdians can’t actually do anything. They can type, they can argue, they can have ideas but it is all hot air. If so many pseudo-intellectuals like Rowan Williams really believe what they say, what hope is there?
The Left politicians are clever and they have an agenda. They want world equality which means that clever people have to be less clever. Cleverness and mental ability will not be valued. This is what scares UnHerdians. The future is scary.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Don’t leave Chris. Where else can one rant into the void as productively as this, as in maybe not so productive, but they give you the ammo to form your rants, and the blank screen space to word them, so give us that outlet.

What to the secretive Unherd Mandarins think of us posters? Do you think they wanted some centrist magazine, but a core of us rabid posters formed, and so they inadvertently took on a Right turn?

I often guess they regard us as rodents in the walls of the old mansion they occupy, rustling noises, occasional droppings and food gnawed on, but hopefully not chewing the wires and making a fire risk. A nuisance, but not worth burning the place down to get rid of……

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Your efforts are really appreciated. I will think. I suppose the main problem is that I find myself saying the same things in different words – and assume that everybody else is the same.
To change and become a Lefty is like trolling.

stephen archer
stephen archer
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Yeah, don’t give up. I know it’s tough and disheartening when the seeming majority don’t seem to give a sh** about the country’s prosperity and future. It’s even worse here in Sweden!

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Rowan Williams is a gifted theologian and literary critic.

Unfortunately, he is a very shallow and predictable commentator on social and political matters.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

The success of the C of E is entirely down to him

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

No, help keep the samizdat going Chris.
In Eastern Europe it must have seemed pretty pointless and a lot more dangerous to circulate censored stuff but eventually they got the Velvet Revolution and the Wall came down.
Admittedly, The Bundesrepublik Deutschland merged with the DDR and they got Merkel, so it wasn’t all good.
The former citizens of Eastern Europe know what life was like under Socialism and so are the least likely to support woke. At least Rowan Williams can’t send you off for reeducation yet. I remember crossing a bridge in Czechoslovakia with a Czech friend who told me it was the intellectuals bridge because all the intellectuals were drafted in to build it.
On second thoughts it’s not a bad idea, a time to look forward to when all the woke academics at Sussex University who failed to support Professor Stock get sent to build a bridge and do something useful. We can dream. The trouble is we would have had to claim to be Communists acting on behalf of the Proletariat, just being a slightly right wing doesn’t get you there.
You could of course sign up for free if you are young enough or identify as young.

Matt M
Matt M
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Don’t go Chris. I agree with your analysis about these unelected, earnest but completely unrealistic politicians and have no solution to offer but I do like reading your comments.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
9 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Seconded – i guess it all depends whether or not one knows others with whom one can have a civilised, informed conversation with….not too many in my case (1) so it is always good to hear others comments etc – at least so that one might feel that there is intelligent life out there !! – and the HOPE that might go with that!!

Philip Stott
Philip Stott
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

An accurate summary.
What a thoroughly depressing situation for a (once) great nation like the US.
You’ve joined your Dad in decrepitude. Yours truly, the UK.

Last edited 9 months ago by Philip Stott
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
9 months ago
Reply to  Philip Stott

I’ve found a son I never knew I had. Will you lend me $1 trillion please, son?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago
Reply to  Philip Stott

Thankyou UK, I do miss the old place, that also, once Great Nation, GB.

My father’s decrepitude was pretty long, he almost made it to 100 – and I have told my tales here of how horrible NHS was to deal with once he got into their hands. In fact it was them dropping him when he was there overnight for some minor procedure which caused his dementia, and then – because he had dementia they set out these insane schedules of home care – 4 visits per day – each of 2 people, and they were useless – as My family did all his care… We had to contract with some miserable company or they would NOT release him! If we fired them they would place him in a home. (they want the money)

If you know my posting you know I do not take lightly to someone telling me what I, or my family, can do. He made it to 90 with us and himself – FO telling us we have to have these idiots coming to the house 4 times a day at huge $$$$. I was spending 6 months a year there to do my share of care, and I have some medical background so had it all working great. Here in USA they let the family take complete charge of their person. That is why I brought him here.

But once NHS lock onto an old person they force this – it is VERY expensive, and you pay for it – and if you say you are firing these useless and costly care visits they say then they will TAKE him and put him in a Dementia Care Home (at a price you cannot believe per week!) F the NHS. I got to know them well, I do not care for them.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

So is insurance the only alternative? I am not an expert but your new family doesn’t seem to be better.

George Glashan
George Glashan
9 months ago

Mark you call them illegal immigrants, Biden calls them future Democrats

John Pade
John Pade
9 months ago

Don’t be ridiculous! He’s doing his best to increase it!