Despite the focus on immigration during President Donald Trump’s presidency, new internal Department of Homeland Security figures obtained by Axios suggest that Trump’s deportation numbers are less than former president Barack Obama’s.
The data reveals that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has deported more immigrants during this fiscal year than any other full fiscal year of Trump’s presidency. But despite the anti-immigration pledges that define his presidency and attacks on his administration that suggest he is too hard on immigration, Trump has yet to match Obama’s early deportation levels.
Specifically, the data shows that total ICE deportations during the Obama administration were above 385,000 each fiscal year from 2009 to 2011, with the peak in 2012 at 409,849 deportations. When 2015 and 2016 came around, numbers dropped below 250,000.
But under Trump, ICE deportations sank to 226,119 in the fiscal year of 2017 before surging over 250,000 in the fiscal year of 2018. As of now, the high for deportations under Trump is 282,242 in the current fiscal year as of June.
The finding is notable because Trump’s 2016 campaign ran on a promise to build a wall to curb immigration, and the president kicked off his 2020 campaign by revealing a mass deportation plan to remove millions of unauthorized immigrants in the United States.
Breaking News: President Trump delayed Sunday’s scheduled raids on undocumented families, but said they’d resume if Democrats do not agree to asylum law changes. https://t.co/1Rg3h1eSfH
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 22, 2019
“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” he wrote via Twitter.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, ICE wasn’t happy about Trump showing his hand. John Amaya, who served as deputy chief of staff of ICE during the Obama administration, is one person that was frustrated by the tweet.
“This runs afoul of basic law enforcement 101. You never telegraph operations en masse,” Amaya said.
Amaya said that Trump’s decision not only alerts immigrants that are threatened by the raid, but it also puts ICE at risk of violence.
“This president doesn’t understand the first thing about law enforcement, and he is now showing that he cares about officer well-being even less,” he said.
Kevin Landy, a former ICE assistant director appointed by Obama, added that Trump was not truthful in his claim that “millions” of undocumented immigrants will be deported.
“Yes, there are millions of undocumented immigrants, but this operation will result in arrests of hundreds. The difference is that ICE will be arresting families, not that the numbers will be larger,” Landy explained.
It’s also notable that the Associated Press reports that ICE is currently overwhelmed, understaffed, lacking funding, and is low on detention space — without considering Trump’s mass deportation effort.
Editor’s note: This story previously incorrectly referred to Kevin Landy as a “former ICE agent.” Mr. Landy was a political appointee during the Obama administration responsible for developing reforms to the immigration detention system.