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ICE arrests, deportations plummet as border crisis spirals

Arrests by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement plummeted by more than 60 percent in February as compared to the final months of the Trump administration, coinciding with a surge of crossings at the US-Mexico border.

The drop, reported Tuesday by The Washington Post, came during President Biden’s first full month in the Oval Office, as he has walked back his predecessor’s more stringent immigration policies.

The number of immigrants busted by ICE in February was down by more than 60 percent as compared to the final three full months of the Trump administration, the paper reported, citing ICE data it reviewed.

In October, November and December, ICE made an average of around 6,800 arrests, according to the report.

Last month, they made only around 2,500 arrests.

Deportations also dipped in February, the data reportedly shows.

In January — as the transition between administrations unfolded — ICE effected 5,583 deportations, according to the Washington Post.

Last month, that figure stood at around 2,600.

Protesters holding an “Abolish ICE” banner at a silent protest.

Erik McGregor/Getty Images

Trump Biden Immigration Snub

ICE officers detain a man during an operation in Escondido, California.

Gregory Bull/AP, File

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The decline came as the Biden administration issued new, temporary guidelines to ICE, narrowing the scope of who the agency should target.

Priorities now include threats to national security, convicted felons believed to pose a threat to public safety and those who have recently entered the US illegally.

“ICE’s interim enforcement priorities focus on threats to national security, border security, and public safety,” an ICE spokesperson told Fox News. “Like other law enforcement agencies, ICE has limited resources, and must prioritize its operations accordingly. As a result, ICE is focused on these priorities and the kinds of quality arrests and enforcement actions they produce.”

Immigration Deportation Devices

The NeoScan 45 fingerprint scanner, paired with an app known as EDDIE, is used by ICE to run remote ID checks.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP

Rally at Federal building to demand an immediate end to the war on immigrants, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Protestors at a rally to demand an immediate end to the war on immigrants in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Michael Siluk/ Getty Images

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The more restricted approach comes as thousands of Central American migrants — including unaccompanied children — have hit the southern border, creating a massive logjam and packing detainment centers as the coronavirus continues to rage.

White House officials in recent days have repeatedly urged migrants not to rush the border now, while acknowledging that the administration’s messaging on the matter may have been muddled, creating confusion and doing little to stem the tide.

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