Who’s the ‘Deporter in Chief’ Now?

The Washington Post claimed last year that the Trump administration was deporting fewer illegal aliens than Barack Obama. Time for an update.

 In Fiscal Year 2017, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed more than 81,000 aliens from the interior of the country. More than 61,000 of those removals occurred after Trump’s Inauguration Day — an increase of 37 percent over the same period in FY2016.

While the Trump Effect of tough talk and stricter enforcement suppressed illegal border crossings (leading to commensurately lower removal numbers there), ICE ramped up interior enforcement efforts. Considering that Trump took office three months into the fiscal year, he’s on pace to out-deport the so-called Deporter in Chief (who vastly inflated removal statistics by counting people turned around at the border as deportations).

Arrests of “noncriminal aliens” are up 200-300 percent in a dozen major U.S. cities – including many sanctuary jurisdictions – and resulting deportations are climbing, as well.

But there are some troubling signs. Deportations declined by double-digit percentages in El Paso, San Antonio, and San Diego.

Going forward, the administration figures to increase deportations with the signing of foreign repatriation agreements. Though barely reported in the mainstream media, these important accords will expedite removal of illegal aliens back to such places as Somalia, Guinea, Cuba, Bangladesh, Iraq and Afghanistan. (In exchange for Washington dropping Iraq from its travel ban, Baghdad agreed not to fight repatriations.)

Though Mexicans and Central Americans historically comprise 90 percent of deportations, removals to other nations rose 24 percent in Trump’s first year. Deportations to Haiti soared from 300 in 2016 to more than 5,500 last year. Deportations to Brazil and China also jumped, while removals of Ghanaians and West Africans more than doubled.

The convoluted case of a Jordanian businessman illustrates how deportation orders are stymied or simply ignored, and how the Trump administration is taking action.

Amer Othman had been living in the U.S. on an expired green card since the mid-1990s. A deportation order was finally issued in 2007, but Othman dodged removal through administrative appeals and a series of “private bills” filed by Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio.

Othman was sent back in his home country last month, leaving Ryan to complain about “a new set of rules” at Trump’s Department of Homeland Security.

Those “new rules” scrap the Obama era order to limit deportations to public safety threats, convicted criminals and recent border crossers. Under Trump, any foreign national without valid papers is subject to removal. That means U.S. deportation laws, as originally written and intended, can be enforced. Bravo.

About Author


Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)’s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.


  1. avatar

    Mandatory E-Verify would take care of most of our illegal immigration problems but that would take elected officials who think more of our own Citizens than the Citizens of other Countries who are here against the law! We currently do not have them in Washington!

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    Sorry, but eighty-one thousand is a drop in a bucket when you consider the tens of millions that have illegally invaded our country.

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      Until the Southern Border wall is built and more ICE agents hired, there will be more illegal immigrants coming to the United States than deported. We must double the number of people deported immediately. Considering there is approximately 12-15 million illegal immigrants in the United States, we should deport at least 2 million a year.

  3. avatar

    Mexifornia should be invaded by ICE agents and border patrol. The more the merrier. Moonbeam and the election commission should be blacklisted. Only citizens can vote in federal elections. They’re letting illegals take over the state.

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      Absolutely YES! I ,live in this s–t hole state and it is insane with illegals! My neighborhood is overrun… they refuse to follow the rules, break parking laws putting us all in jeopardy by inhibiting emergency vehicles from accessing a home, They are inconsiderate, feel entitled and scream Rascist is anyone dares to confront the issues here in my neighborhood. I am so over them all… and this state’s demented demon-crap legislators and their propagandized into severe cognitive brain damaged base! Deport the lot and make sure the wall is beyond their ability to get over, under or around and if they do…well they won’t be so keen to get here if they are faced with armed border defense!

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  4. avatar

    Does anyone know how we could start a movement of a March on Washington if 60 million people voted for Trump and we all gave $300 that comes to 18 billion that’s certainly would build a wall I would be the first one there with my $300 some could give less some could give more we could send a message to Washington to the Democrats and the Republicans

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    Mr. Trump I as well as millions of your supporters will be extremely disappointed if all of the illegals are not deported right away beginning March 5th. . If it’s not done we will have to find another Republican president that will do the job . We will put you out in the pasture & you will not have another term in office

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    Gerald Williams on

    Recently, the media and Democrats reported that a so called bipartisan bill that received 54 votes, included $25 B for border security; I would like to set the record straight and FAIR and Republicans should do a better job to inform voters:

    First, that bill only called for a conditional $2.5 B per year, for 10 years. It did not include ending the several loopholes that would allow illegals to be immediately deported;

    For real border security in order to build the steel fence / wall, it is necessary to issue contracts on the order of 3-6 B; You can’t have conditional 2.5 B grants to get it done; Instead, the much superior Trump proposal calls for all $25 B to be set aside in the 2018 and 2019 budgets; March 23 is the deadline to get this done for 2018;

    So if the Dems control the House in 2018, and the Presidency in 2020, then with this so called Bipartisan proposal that nearly all Dems supported, no more that 2.5 B would actually be appropriated; The Republicans need to clarify this, and make a new attempt to get the $25 B approved in return for a 12 yr path to potential citizenship for only the 695,000 DACA recipients;

    Neither side trusts the other, so we need to start smaller to get something approved, and then move on to Phase II after Republicans hold the House;

    Also, it should be pointed out that 12 Republicans didn’t vote for the Trump backed immigration proposal. That is shameful.

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      The 12 So called Republican that did not vote for the Trump backed immigration proposal should lose their jobs and true conservative republicans replace them !!! ( SHAME ON YOU YOU ARE PHONY ***’S !!!!

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      The 12 So called Republican that did not vote for the Trump backed immigration proposal should lose their jobs and true conservative republicans replace them !!! ( SHAME ON YOU YOU ARE PHONY ***’S !!!! And no, I have not already said that, but by damn I am saying it now !!!

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    It is good that Trump is increasing deportations, but the fact that he came out in favor of amnesty for 1.8 million illegal aliens, more than three times the number Obama was in favor for, sends a counterproductive message that simultaneously encourages illegal immigration.

    I hope that FAIR will not fall into the trap of Trump worshiping and will continue to point out both the bad and the good things Trump does regarding the immigration issue.

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      Gerald Williams on

      Since on the surface it appears that Dems will not go along with the four prong immigration proposal, Trump should now propose $25 Billion in a secure Trust Fund and reduce the Amnesty to only the signed up DACA recipients of about 695,000 (not 1.8 M).

      It is critical that DHS receives the 25 B, so they can being planning for border security during the present administration. Put off Chain Migration and an end to the Visa Lottery program for after the midterms.

      Although the March 5 deadline may be extended for DACA recipients, it isn’t extended for any of the other so call illegal Dreamers; Trump should threaten action against the non-DACA illegals, if Congress doesn’t pass a border security bill by March 5;

      For Republicans to hold the House, it is crucial that 25 B in border security is approved;

  8. Pingback: Who's the 'Deporter in Chief' Now? | Visa Bulletin

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