The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported in the last decade of December that approximately 104,000 immigration offenders were arrested in the 2020 fiscal year ended September 30, 27 percent less than the year before, when ICE detained 143,000 people.
The agency’s deputy director, Henry Lucero, told reporters that ICE officials blamed the COVID-19 pandemic as the main reason for this recession, resulting in a decline in illegal border crossings and a reduction in operations. In the same year, the agency deported 186,000 people from the United States, down 30 percent from fiscal 2019. Far fewer illegal immigrants are now in ICE detention centers: there were just under 16,000 as of 18 December 2020, and the average prison population in 2019 was 50,000.
The number of arrests has decreased