The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested fewer people in fiscal year 2019 compared to the previous year, partly because resources were reallocated to help manage the huge influx of immigrants arriving at the country’s southern border, the agency said Wednesday in a statement.

In the fiscal year—which ended on Sept. 30—agents detained some 143,000 people, about 13,000 fewer than last year, while deporting approximately 10,000 more immigrants than the previous year, a total of 267,258.

According to the report, 91 percent of deportees (243,000) included people with criminal convictions or criminal charges pending at the time of arrest. Arrests, however, fell to 143,000 from 159,000.

In fiscal year 2019, these detainees and deportees were charged with a variety of violent crimes including homicide (1,900), kidnapping (1,800), sex crimes (12,000), and assault (45,000).


Matthew T. Albence, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), explained how the unprecedented crisis at the border this fiscal year impacted nearly every area of the agency’s operations, including internal law enforcement, detention capacity, transportation, transfers, personnel, and general expenses.

“There is no doubt that the border crisis, coupled with the unwillingness of some local jurisdictions that choose to put politics over public safety has made it more difficult for ICE to carry out its congressionally mandated interior enforcement mission,” Albence said.

Albence referred to local police not helping ICE agents in so-called sanctuary cities such as New York and Chicago.

“No matter where you live in the United States, your safety is impacted by criminal aliens who came to this country illegally and now live in your neighborhoods,” Albence said.

Sanctuary city regulations—pushed by Democratic officials—protect illegal aliens from immigration and deportation officials, while allowing them to live in the United States illegally, Fox News reported.

Since the early days of Trump’s presidency, his administration has struggled with the concept of sanctuary city by seeing them as refuges for criminals and organized crime gangs like MS-13.

Border crossings are decreasing due to the successful remain-in-Mexico policy. Thousands of illegal aliens were sent to Mexico to wait for U.S. courts to process their asylum applications, as determined by the remain-in-Mexico policy implemented by the Trump administration.

In addition, agreements have been made with Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to stop the flow of migrants from those countries.