The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently released its fiscal year 2014 enforcement statistics from the DHS Office of Immigration Statistics, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). All three agency’s statistics are being reported and released together in an effort to promote transparency and timely reporting to Congress and the public.
• Department of Homeland Security conducted a total of 577,295 removals and returns, including 414,481 removals and 162,814 returns.
• ICE had a total of 315,943 removals or returns.
• CBP made a total of 486,651 apprehensions nationwide, nearly all of which were along the southwest border; 468,407 of those apprehensions were of individuals from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
• 85 percent of all interior ICE removals and returns involved individuals who had been previously convicted of a crime; this number is up significantly from 2011 when it was just 67 percent.
• The number of Mexican nationals removed or returned decreased, while the number of Guatemalan, Honduran and El Salvadorian removals or returns increased.
CBP Enforcement Efforts
Illegal migration, as defined by CBP apprehensions, continues to reflect an overall decline compared to the peak in 2000, when CBP reported 1.6 million apprehensions. For fiscal year 2014, CBP reported 486,651 apprehensions nationwide, compared to 420,789 in 2013. This increase is attributed to the large influx of unaccompanied children and family units in South Texas last summer. While Border Patrol apprehensions of Mexican nationals decreased by 14 percent from 2013, apprehensions of individuals from countries other than Mexico increased by 68 percent.
CBP officers at ports of entry arrested 8,013 people wanted for serious crimes, including murder, rape, assault and robbery. Officers also stopped 223,712 inadmissible aliens from entering the United States through ports of entry, an increase of more than 9 percent from 2013. Inadmissibility grounds included immigration violations and criminal and national security-related reasons. CBP also identified 11,494 high-risk travelers who would have been found inadmissible and were prevented from boarding flights to the United States.
Additionally, CBP officers played a significant role in countering narcotics, seizing more than 3.8 million pounds of narcotics across the country.
ICE Interior and Border Enforcement Efforts
In fiscal year 2014, ICE removed or returned 315,943 individuals. Of that number, 213,719 were apprehended while attempting to illegally enter the U.S. and 102,224 were apprehended in the U.S.
ICE was required to shift resources to effectively manage the influx of Central American family units and unaccompanied children illegally crossing into the United States in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas in fiscal year 2014. ICE reallocated personnel and resources to address the challenges posed by this shift in migration. This impacted ICE removal operations as well.
Removals to Central America increased, while removals to Mexico decreased. Removals of non-Mexican nationals require additional detention capacity, efforts to secure travel documents from the host country, and the arrangement of air transportation. As a result, more time, officer resources and funding are required to complete the removal process for citizens from Central America.
Berardi Immigration Law specializes in U.S. immigration issues. If you are interested in immigrating to the United States, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!