According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data, immigration arrests in the United States have plunged under President Joe Biden compared to his predecessor, who cast a wide net of who was eligible to be taken into custody.
Under Biden, the Department of Homeland Security rolled out a series of policy changes that marked a departure from the Trump administration’s aggressive enforcement measures. That included modifying guidance to focus arrests on national security, public safety and border security risks.
ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations made more than 74,000 administrative arrests — for immigration violations — in fiscal year 2021, according to agency data, down from the Trump administration when annual administrative arrests hovered over 100,000.
Of the total arrests conducted, 45,755 occurred after ICE modified its guidance last February under Biden. Nearly half of those arrests were of convicted criminals, while 55% of those arrested were classified as “threats to border security,” which includes people apprehended by US Border Patrol.
The return to a priority system for arrests was among several policy changes instituted under Biden. Over the last year, ICE also ended contracts with two detention centers, stopped long-term detention of families, discontinued mass worksite immigration raids, and began moving toward alternatives to detention, like ankle bracelets.