(HorizonPost.com) – During the week of January 15, Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilitated removal flights for illegal aliens to Central America, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Haiti, the agency announced in a statement released last Friday.
According to ICE, the Department of Homeland Security, along with Customs and Border Protect and ICE, has deported more than 495,000 illegal aliens, including 83,000 family members, between May 12, 2023, and January 10. The vast majority of those deportations consisted of individuals who crossed the southwest US border.
The number of removals in 2023 was higher than in any fiscal year between 2015 and 2019, while daily removals were nearly double the average in the five years before the pandemic.
According to the statement, non-citizens with no legal basis for remaining in the US are not removed until they are screened for valid asylum claims. Those who are placed for removal proceedings are allowed to present their claims for protection from removal or relief in court before immigration judges. Immigration courts are overseen by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.
ICE’s Air Operations is responsible for the transfer and deportation of illegal aliens to their countries of origin, using both commercial airlines or chartered flights. In total, ICE Air Operations has 12 aircraft at its locations in Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas.
In FY2023, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations deported 142,580 non-citizens and 62,545 expulsions through Title 42. These non-citizens were returned to more than 170 countries.
B-roll video of removal flights can be seen at DVIDS. Additional videos have also been made available to the media and the public by the Department of Homeland Security. These videos include B-roll footage of removal flights, testimonials from non-citizens who have been deported, and public service announcements.
While ICE has deported nearly 500,000 non-citizens since May 2023, that is still a small amount compared to the number of non-citizens released into the US.
The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Customs and Border Protection released over 2.3 million non-citizens into the United States since Joe Biden took office.
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