MCALLEN, Texas -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it's arresting and deporting fewer immigrants because the agency is devoting more resources to the surging numbers of migrant families crossing the southern border.
Acting Director Matthew Albence said Wednesday that ICE has made 14 percent fewer criminal arrests and 10 percent fewer removals of immigrants since October compared to the same period a year earlier.
Albence blamed the reassignment of hundreds of ICE staff to the U.S.-Mexico border, where the Border Patrol is apprehending thousands of families weekly. Many of them are parents and children fleeing Central America and seeking asylum.
Albence and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan visited the border city of McAllen, Texas, on Wednesday to highlight what they called a humanitarian crisis.