The Federation for American Immigration Reform says the Biden administration has failed to release U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's annual arrests and deportations report for Fiscal Year 2021 – "likely to avoid significant blowback amid a historic border crisis and efforts to gut interior enforcement," says FAIR.
According to Ira Mehlman's group, ICE typically releases its annual report at the end of the calendar year – but this is the first time in more than a decade, since 2011, that it has not done this. "They have something to hide," says FAIR's media director.
"They understand that their policies on immigration are not popular with the American public, [and] that the American public is alarmed about what is going on," he continues. "And they don't want the full picture to come out. So, they are dragging their heels as much as they possibly can."
Thomas Homan – a former acting director of ICE under the Trump administration – contends the report hasn't been released yet "because they are trying to spin [it] so it's not so embarrassing."
One of the core promises of the Biden administration – as stated by White House press secretary Jen Psaki on January 20, 2021 – is to "bring transparency and truth back to the government to share the truth, even when it's hard to hear." In Mehlman's opinion, delaying the ICE report fails the transparency test.
"Look, it is going to come out at some point; they can't hide it forever," he tells AFN. "And once it does come out, it's going to have to be looked at closely to see if there's anything that they're trying to hide even with the release of information."
Mehlman says under the Biden administration, arrests and deportations already hit historic lows in the spring. FAIR expects the annual figures to be "historic, alarming, and politically toxic."
ICE has not yet determined a release date for the report.