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By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Tues. Jan. 9, 2023: As of December 27, 2023, President Biden’s administration, through its Department of Homeland Security (DHS), announced the completion of its 11th deportation flight to Central America and Venezuela. This development marks a significant milestone, with nearly half a million individuals deported between May and December 2023.

This figure surpasses the highest seven-month deportation tally under former President Donald Trump. According to the Biden administration’s DHS, the current deportations almost surpass the total for the entire fiscal year of 2019 and exceed the annual totals from 2015 to 2018.

Furthermore, the DHS highlights that daily deportations and enforcement returns have nearly doubled the pre-pandemic average from 2014 to 2019, a rate higher than during the Trump era. The Cato Institute, through an article by David J. Bier, reveals an even more striking comparison: the Biden administration is deporting individuals at a rate 3.5 times higher per month than the Trump administration.

Under Trump, the DHS recorded 1.4 million arrests over fiscal years 2019 and 2020, spanning 24 months. In contrast, the Biden administration’s DHS has made over 5 million arrests in just over 26 months. Additionally, while the Trump administration deported a minority of those arrested, the Biden administration has deported a majority.

These figures have raised concerns among Biden’s supporters, especially those who believed in his pre-election promise to end deportations for non-criminal immigrants. Despite the significant number of deportations, groups like Witness at the Border, which tracks flight data, indicate that these measures have not effectively curbed the surge in illegal border crossings. For instance, Venezuelans alone accounted for over 85,000 illegal crossings in October and November, trailing only Mexicans in frequency.

Since the beginning of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2023, migrant encounters at the southern U.S. border have exceeded 760,000, marking the highest quarter on record. Additionally, there have been about 82,000 “known getaways” since that date.

The situation is also notable in terms of detention data. According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, as of December 17, 2023, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained 36,263 immigrants, with 66.8 percent of them having no criminal record. The South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, has the highest average daily detainee count, with 1,963 individuals in December 2023.

In an election year, the Biden administration seems to be adopting more centrist policies. Last month, it expressed willingness to congressional lawmakers to support new measures for expelling migrants without asylum screenings and significantly expanding immigration detention and deportations, as reported by CBS News.

Sameera Hafiz, Policy Director at ILRC, criticizes these policies, accusing the Biden administration of adopting “racist policies” and using immigrants as “political pawns.” Hafiz calls for leadership that listens to communities, meets the needs of migrants compassionately, and rejects political and hateful pressures.

Interestingly, CNN surveys indicate a shift in immigrant voter preferences, with Biden and Trump currently tied at 48 percent among this demographic. This is a stark contrast to the 2020 election when Biden led Trump by about 20 points among immigrant voters. Biden should be very worried!

Felicia J. Persaud is the publisher of NewsAmericasNow.com, a daily news outlet focusing on Black immigrant issues.

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