Why did arrests and deportations decline in 2021?

New Jersey residents might breathe a little easier with the recent decline in arrests and deportations. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers shifted their focus to more serious offenses under the new administration.

The numbers dropped about 28% in 2021, but the pandemic shares part of the decline. The current administration redirected the focus of ICE to new illegal border-crossers, those with serious criminal charges pending or adjudicated. Immigrants who have been in the U.S. for a long time and have clean records are getting a reprieve. It’s not stated how long this shift will last.

The shift to more severe immigration offenders

Immigration is a complex and highly politicized issue. There will be some legislative division as to the best course of action. Entering the United States unlawfully is a crime, but it hasn’t prevented millions of immigrants from making the U.S. their home.

Focusing on felonious crimes allows the federal government to protect citizens from significant harm. The lesser immigration offenses mainly relate to unlawful border crossing or expired visas. Sex and drug traffickers arguably would be a more vigorous use of law enforcement resources.

Declining immigration arrests and deportation

Declining arrests and deportations don’t signal a free for all. Those arrested, detained and found to violate U.S. law can and will be prosecuted. The shift in focus is not a neglect of duty but rather a way to curb dangerous foreign felons that violate the law.

America welcomes immigrants to enter the country legally. There are many types of visas that permit entry. Family visas, work and education visas are some of them. The best way to keep arrest and deportation numbers declining is by enforcing U.S. border laws. It’s essential for foreign residents to keep all visas and immigration documents up-to-date and abide by U.S. laws.

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