News & Politics

Trump wants to ramp up deportations, but ICE probably won’t be able to keep up

ICE agents check a home in Atlanta on Feb. 9 during an operation aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal immigrants. (Bryan Cox / Associated Press)
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, hampered by poor organization and an overworked staff, will have trouble keeping up with the Trump administration’s plans to ramp up deportations of people in the country illegally, government inspectors have concluded.

ICE has “overwhelming caseloads,” its records are “likely inaccurate” and its deportation policies and procedures “are outdated and unclear,” said a report released Thursday by the inspector general of the Homeland Security Department.

“ICE is almost certainly not deporting all the aliens who could be deported and will likely not be able to keep up with the growing number of deportable aliens,” the 19-page report concludes.

The harsh assessment is the latest dash of cold reality for Trump, who was swept into Washington promising vastly tougher enforcement of immigration laws, including more removals, thousands more Border Patrol agents and deportation officers, and construction of a formidable wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Congress faces a looming deadline to fund the federal government after members return next week, and the proposed wall and other new border security measures probably won’t get anything extra in this round of spending. Trump had asked Congress to provide an additional $5 billion this year.

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