The San Diego field office for Immigration and Customs Enforcement carried out about 8% of the nation’s removals in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, according to data released by the agency.
That’s down from the 10% that the field office averaged last year for sending people back to their home countries. While ICE increased the number of removals nationwide compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2018, local ICE officers removed fewer people at the beginning of this fiscal year compared with the same period last year.
ICE officers in San Diego and Imperial counties deported or otherwise returned more than 5,300 people between October and December 2018. Nationwide, officers removed more than 66,500 people.
In fiscal 2018, ICE officers for the San Diego field office removed more than 6,000 people, and nationwide officers removed more than 60,500 in the same time frame.
ICE counts both deportations — when someone is ordered to leave the U.S. — and voluntary returns — when someone agrees to leave — as removals.
About 39% of those removed from San Diego and Imperial counties in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 had criminal convictions. An additional 5% had been charged with crimes but had no convictions.
The remaining 56% did not have any criminal charges or convictions.
Nationally, 57% of those removed from the U.S. had criminal convictions. About 9% had pending criminal charges but had not been convicted of crimes, and 34% had no charges or convictions.
The majority of removals from the state of California, more than 60% in the beginning of fiscal 2019, are carried out through the San Diego field office.
The San Diego area also saw fewer arrests by ICE officers in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, which mirrored the national trend.
Officers for the San Diego field office arrested 717 people between October and December 2018. Nationwide, officers caught 35,167 people.