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Biden Administration Faces Scrutiny Over Immigration Deportation Claims Amid Heated Debate

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

Ted Hesson, an immigration reporter for Reuters, has reported that President Joe Biden is deporting more individuals than former President Donald Trump, using graphics to support his claim. Hesson’s report has sparked significant debate and fact-checking among other journalists and commentators.

Critics argue that Hesson’s numbers are misleading because they include “returns” to Mexico, which are not the same as formal deportations and can involve individuals simply crossing the border back into the U.S. again.

Bill Melugin from Fox News disputes Hesson’s claim, citing ICE data that shows significantly fewer deportations under Biden compared to Trump. From fiscal years 2018 to 2020, there were 709,227 deportations, whereas from 2021 to 2023, there were only 273,768.

Melugin emphasizes that Hesson’s numbers are inflated by including returns, which do not require a formal court order and can be voluntary, thus misrepresenting the true scale of deportations.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

The debate extends to the context of these deportations, with many pointing out that the vast majority of current illegal border crossers are not from Mexico but from other regions such as China, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Returns to Mexico are not equivalent to deportations to these countries of origin, and the high number of returns does not reflect a strict enforcement of immigration laws.

Additional voices on social media criticize the Biden administration’s overall handling of border security and immigration enforcement, arguing that the administration’s priorities have led to fewer formal removals. \Some users highlight the broader context of the unprecedented number of border apprehensions during Biden’s term and the use of Title 42, a public health measure that allowed for quick expulsions of migrants back to Mexico without the chance to seek asylum.

Despite some defending Hesson’s interpretation of the data by saying Biden’s current deportation rate exceeds Trump’s, many argue it’s too late to make a significant impact.

The Biden administration had used Title 42 for several years, leading to 2.8 million expulsions, but this measure was lifted in May 2023. Critics suggest that the administration’s early actions, such as lifting Trump’s border measures, have contributed to the current situation at the border.

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