The Biden administration apparently is withholding a report that details the number of illegal immigrants removed from the United States last year; this decision keeps the public in the dark about its handling of the southern border crisis.
For the first time in a decade, ICE did not release its annual report in 2021. The report details the number of illegal immigrants removed from the U.S. and is typically released in the final weeks of the year.
ICE tells me it is in final review & release is expected this month.
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) January 5, 2022
This is also a departure from standard governing procedure. Every year over the last decade, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released the report in the final weeks of the calendar year, most recently in late December 2020.
That crucial report summarizes results from operations related to stopping COVID-19 relief fund abuse. In fiscal year 2020, ICE and its law enforcement partners seized more than $18 million linked to pandemic-related fraud and criminal activity.
It is unclear whether ICE has completed the report, which also summarizes the agency’s enforcement and removal operations, as well as immigration-related security threats.
The 2021 fiscal year saw more recorded illegal border crossings than any year in U.S. history.
A release date for the report has not been determined.
This news comes as only 35% of voters approve of President Joe Biden’s handling of immigration, according to the RealClearPolitics average.
Critics of his immigration policy believe the administration could be hiding statistics to avoid bad press for the president and his apathetic “border czar.”
Republican lawmakers have voiced concern over a culture of secrecy at the White House.
Sens. Josh Hawley and James Lankford wrote a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last month demanding the agency release the 2020 Entry/Exit Overstay Report, which lists the number of foreign nationals in the country who overstayed their visas.
Some Democrats remain committed to open border policy. Only three months ago, Senate Democrats proposed an appropriations bill to actually cut funding for Customs and Border Protection by a half-billion dollars.
Interestingly on a similar topic, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday night that the number of unaccompanied minors caught crossing the border into the U.S. from Mexico has reached historic lows.
“There has been no significant policy or operational change that would explain this decline at this time,” Theresa Cardinal Brown of the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank said. She then explained, “The decisions [for parents to send their children across the border] are made weeks ago.”