ICE Arrests Double in 2022; Thousands with Multiple Convictions, Terrorists, Gang Members


Source: Judicial Watch Weekly Update, By Tom Fitton, January 20, 2023

Our southern border has become more of a sieve than a barrier to criminal elements crossing into our country since Joe Biden took office. Disturbingly, terrorists and gang members are among the criminal elements who are brazenly entering the United States. Earlier this month our Corruption Chronicles reported on the ongoing influx:

Arrests of illegal immigrants inside the United States nearly doubled last year over 2021 and tens of thousands had serious criminal histories that include multiple charges and convictions, according to a recently published Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report. The 80-page document, which contains fiscal year 2022 figures, helps illustrate the devastating impact of the Biden administration’s reckless open border policies which have allowed record-breaking numbers of migrants into the country with minimal or no vetting. This has made ICE’s task overwhelming as the Homeland Security agency responsible for enforcing immigration laws to preserve national security and public safety.

In 2022 ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) apprehended 142,750 illegal aliens in the U.S., nearly doubling the number of arrests it made in 2021, government figures included in the report show. Over 46,000 had a criminal history and an average of 4.3 charges and convictions, including more than 20,000 charges or convictions for assault, 5,500 for weapons crimes, 1,500 for homicide-related offenses, and 1,100 for kidnapping. The agency also removed 2,667 gang members last year, 55 terrorists, seven human rights violators and 74 foreign fugitives wanted by their government for serious crimes such as homicide, rape, terrorism, and kidnapping. In a press release announcing the year-end report ICE writes that the document showcases how the agency has responded to “increasingly complex transnational security threats.”

The language downplays the magnitude of the epic illegal immigration crisis that is gripping the nation and appears to be worsening. Fiscal year 2022 was a record-breaker for illegal immigration along the Mexican border. Besides arresting 2.4 million migrants (up from 1.73 million in 2021), Border Patrol agents apprehended hundreds of gang members—mostly from the famously violent Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13)—and dozens of people on the national terrorist watchlist. Federal agents also confiscated thousands of pounds of drugs, mainly methamphetamine. The alarming stats, released a few months ago, depict a chaotic Mexican border region rife with lawlessness that is inevitably seeping north. Keep in mind, the recently released ICE figures include those already inside the U.S., probably living in unsuspecting communities throughout the nation. ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson calls it “complex cross-border and domestic threats.”

The agency also conducted 72,177 removals last year to more than 150 countries worldwide, approximately half of them on charter flights. This includes 256 private, American taxpayer-funded flights to Guatemala, 220 to Honduras, 125 to Haiti and 120 to El Salvador. “Removed noncitizens had a total of 183,251 charges and convictions associated with them, for an average of 4.2 charges and convictions per person,” the report states. This includes 17,336 charges or convictions for assault, 7,370 for sex offenses and sexual assault, 4,711 for weapons crimes, 1,315 for homicide-related offenses, and 953 for kidnapping. “Removal management is a complex process that requires careful planning and coordination with a wide range of domestic and foreign partners and utilizes significant ERO resources,” the report says. “After a noncitizen receives a final order of removal and ERO has coordinated with necessary partners, ICE arranges their removal via a chartered flight, commercial flight, or land transport (for removals to a contiguous country).”

Last year ERO also issued 78,829 detainers for illegal immigrants arrested by local police for state crimes. The offenses include 26,186 assaults, 8,450 sex crimes, 2,934 robberies, 1,911 kidnappings and 1,751 homicides. The year-end report also reveals that an ICE subcomponent known as Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted over 36,000 arrests and identified or assisted 1,170 victims of child exploitation as well as 765 victims of human trafficking. The division also set a record for seized currency and assets of more than $5 billion, an increase of about $4 billion from the previous year. HSI also seized 330 firearms, 43,466 rounds of ammunition and 92,055 pounds of narcotics from Mexican drug cartels, which are officially called Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) by the U.S. government.

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