DHS releases end of fiscal year 2016 statistics

Jose Isabel Paz-Martinez

WASHINGTON — Today the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 statistics. These statistics reflect the Department’s immigration enforcement efforts prioritizing convicted criminals and threats to public safety, border security and national security.

Overall, in FY 2016, the Department apprehended 530,250 individuals nationwide and conducted a total of 450,954 removals and returns. The U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) reported 415,816 apprehensions nationwide, compared to 337,117 in FY 2015; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 114, 434 individuals, compared to 125,211 in FY 2015. Although apprehensions by the USBP in FY 2016 increased from FY 2015, they remain a fraction of the number of apprehensions routinely observed from the 1980s through 2008. In addition, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) identified 274,821 inadmissible individuals at ports of entry, compared to 253,509 in FY 2015. ICE removed or returned 240,255 individuals in FY 2016, compared to 235,413 in FY 2015.

The Department continues to successfully implement the civil immigration enforcement priorities announced by Secretary Johnson in November 2014. In FY 2016, 98 percent of initial enforcement actions – a set of actions that includes USBP apprehensions, OFO determinations of inadmissibility, and ICE administrative arrests – involved individuals classified within one of the three enforcement priority categories. Ninety-one percent were among the top priority (Priority 1), which includes national security threats, individuals apprehended at the border while attempting to enter unlawfully, and the most serious categories of convicted criminals as well as gang members.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson made the following statement concerning the FY 2016 numbers:

The immigration statistics released in today’s report reflect the continued effort by this Administration to dedicate the Department of Homeland Security’s resources to smart enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, with a particular focus on public safety and border security.

We continued to strengthen the federal government’s decades-long investment in border security. These investments have paid off. Apprehensions on the border in recent years – a strong indicator of total attempts to cross the border – are much lower than they used to be. In FY 2016, total apprehensions by the Border Patrol on the southwest border numbered 408,870. This represents a fraction of the number of apprehensions routinely observed from the 1980s through 2008.

In FY 2016, we continued to better focus our interior resources on removing individuals who may pose threats to public safety—specifically, convicted criminals and threats to national security. This prioritization is reflected in actual results. Overall, 98% of all initial immigration enforcement actions and over 99% of all removals and returns in FY 2016 aligned with the immigration enforcement priorities that I established in November 2014. Significantly, an increasing percentage of those deported from the interior were convicted of serious crimes – over 90% in 2016 as compared to 51% in 2009.

The information released today includes a new, consolidated Immigration Enforcement report by our Department’s Office of Immigration Statistics. It is part of our effort to improve the transparency of DHS’s immigration enforcement efforts by releasing the end of year statistics of CBP and ICE together rather than piecemeal. This marks the third year in a row we have done this. As my term comes to an end, I strongly encourage the next Administration to continue publishing this report and to continue to enhance the transparency of DHS’s immigration enforcement efforts.