U.S. immigration officials deported about 256,000 people in the first full fiscal year of the Trump administration, a slight increase over the previous year but well below the peaks of the Obama era when that number approached 500,000, official data shows.
Interior removals climbed from 65,332 to 95,360, following a policy shift in 2017 under President Donald Trump that deprioritized who is detained and opened up a broader number of immigrants to the risk of deportation.
The remaining 160,725 deportations are removals at the border, which has made up the bulk of ICE removals since 2012.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released the latest statistics for fiscal year 2018 on Friday.
Despite a focus in speeches by Trump and his cabinet on the crimes committed by immigrants, the number of convicted criminals arrested by ICE in fiscal 2018 remained almost flat — 105,736 in fiscal 2017 to 105,140 in fiscal 2018.
According to Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., a better measure of what interior enforcement is changing is how much of the undocumented population is affected.
For example, ICE removed about 0.89 percent of the undocumented immigrant population through interior enforcement in 2018, an increase from 0.76 percent in 2017, Nowrasteh said.
The ICE report includes country-by-country data that can reveal the results of specific policy changes, or of more nebulous variables.
More difficult to pin down, however, is the mixed bag of changes in Northern Triangle countries. The number of Salvadorans deported decreased (15,445, 18 percent drop), while those for Honduras (28,894; 29 percent increase) and Guatemala (50,390; 50 percent increase) jumped.