ICE official testifies Biden administration removing a fraction of the migrants that Obama removed

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EXCLUSIVE: A top Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official admitted that the Biden administration has removed a fraction of the amount of illegal migrants in the last decade compared to previous administrations. 

Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Corey Price testified under oath during a Sept. 9 deposition, first obtained by Fox News Digital, as part of discovery in a lawsuit by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody against the Department of Homeland Security and other border agencies.

“Since President Biden became president on January 20, 2021, ERO is removing less aliens, correct?” asked Florida Chief Deputy Attorney General John Guard.

“That’s correct,” responded Price.

The attorney Guard continued, asking: “Director, ICE currently is removing less aliens from the United States than it has in the last decade, right?”

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Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Corey Price testified under oath during a Sept. 9 deposition.

Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Corey Price testified under oath during a Sept. 9 deposition. (Office of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody)

“I do not have the last ten years’ data available. But it is less than at least the last four years that I have here,” answered Price.

However, when presented with the data over the last decade, Price agreed that almost seven times the number of migrants were removed under former President Obama’s administration compared with the current Biden administration.

From 2008 through 2016, ICE removed nearly or just over 400,000 aliens and never less than 230,000. In 2021, ICE removed 55,598 aliens.

“In 2012, a decade ago, under President Obama, ICE removed almost eight times or, excuse me, almost seven times the number of aliens than the Biden administration did in either 2021 or 2022, right?” asked the attorney.

Price responded: “That appears correct.”

Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz stated that Biden's border policies have "no consequences" for illegal migrants traveling into the U.S. and are to blame for the unprecedented surge at the border and release of hundreds of thousands into the interior of the country.

Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz stated that Biden’s border policies have “no consequences” for illegal migrants traveling into the U.S. and are to blame for the unprecedented surge at the border and release of hundreds of thousands into the interior of the country.

Price also admitted ICE is detaining fewer aliens than it did under former President Trump.

“Now, not only are removals and book ins declining under the Biden administration, ICE is detaining less aliens than it did during the Trump administration, correct?” asked the Florida counselor.

Price replied: “That’s correct.”

In addition, Price agreed with the fact that ICE detained about 40 percent of migrants in 2021 than it did in 2019, under former President Trump.

“In 2021, ICE detained approximately 40 percent of the aliens than it did in 2019, right? And it’s 50,000 to 19,254,” said the attorney.

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“That appears correct,” Price responded.

“Our deposition provides even more proof that the Biden administration is intentionally under-enforcing federal immigration law in a way that has never been seen,” Moody told Fox News Digital. “At every phase of the process, Biden is purposely failing to enforce the law and detain and remove inadmissible immigrants. Career ICE officials warned the administration that their reckless policies would drastically cut enforcement and still Biden continued to implement them—proving yet again, we only have Biden to blame for the border crisis and the surge in American deaths from Mexican fentanyl.”

Price’s deposition comes weeks after testimony by the head of the Border Patrol, Raul Ortiz. He stated that an internal U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidance memo from May clearing border agents to release illegal migrants into the interior of the U.S. — in anticipation of a surge at the border if Title 42 is officially terminated — is unprecedented in the 31 years he’s been with the agency.

In addition, he stated that Biden’s border policies have “no consequences” for illegal migrants traveling into the U.S. and are to blame for the unprecedented surge at the border and release of hundreds of thousands into the interior of the country.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sits down with Fox News Digital at CPAC Orlando 2022. 

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sits down with Fox News Digital at CPAC Orlando 2022.  (Fox News)

The CBP previously told Fox News Digital, “As a matter of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection generally does not comment on pending litigation.”

The number of migrant encounters at the southern border rose to over 200,000 in August, as the border faced an increase in migrants coming from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, which officials said was driving a “new wave of migration” across the Hemisphere.

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There were 203,598 encounters on the border, a slight increase from the 199,976 encountered in July and lower than the 209,840 encountered in August last year.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

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