Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deported more immigrants this fiscal year than any full fiscal year of Donald Trump's presidency, but it has yet to reach Barack Obama's early deportation levels, according to new internal Department of Homeland Security figures obtained by Axios.
Why it matters: With four months left in the fiscal year, it puts Trump's deportations in perspective and shows the reality behind the anti-immigrant pledges that have come to define his presidency.
By the numbers: Under the Obama administration, total ICE deportations were above 385,000 each year in fiscal years 2009-2011, and hit a high of 409,849 in fiscal 2012. The numbers dropped to below 250,000 in fiscal years 2015 and 2016.
- Under Trump, ICE deportations fell to 226,119 in fiscal 2017, then ticked up to over 250,000 in fiscal 2018 and hit a Trump administration high of 282,242 this fiscal year (as of June).
- ICE and DHS didn't respond to a request for comment.
State of play: Trump kicked off his 2020 campaign with a familiar pledge to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S., and announced that ICE will begin a series of raids across the country next week.
- Yes, but: Such a pledge is ambitious given the current pressures on the agency and its limited resources. As the AP points out, ICE is "already overwhelmed, lacking staff, funding and detention space for its current work. And any massive roundup that includes deportation of families would be sure to spark outrage."