The House Judiciary Committee demanded testimony on Monday from a senior Biden administration official working for Immigration and Customs Enforcement amid a drop in deportations of migrants convicted of criminal offenses. 

The Republican-led panel asked Claire Trickler-McNulty, assistant director of ICE’s Office of Immigration Program Evaluation, to sit for a transcribed interview related to the committee’s probe into whether the federal government is properly enforcing immigration law as the nation grapples with record-levels of illegal immigration under President Biden. 

“At a time of historic illegal immigration into the United States, ICE continues to detain and remove from the United States only a small percentage of illegal and criminal aliens,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and immigration integrity, security, and enforcement subcommittee Chairman Tom McClintock (R-Ga.) wrote in their letter to Trickler-McNulty. 

The congressmen note that in 2023, ICE removed 41% fewer migrants convicted of crimes or facing criminal charges than in 2020 – the last year of the Trump administration – and about 60% fewer than in 2019. 

The average number of migrants detained at the border in 2023 was also nearly half of the 2019 figure, according to Jordan and McClintock. 

The drop in deportations and detainments coincides with a surge in illegal border-crossings. 

The total number of southwest land border encounters since Biden assumed office in 2021 is 7,298,486, according to data from Customs and Border Protection.

The lawmakers found that ICE is aware of “at least 617,607 criminal aliens” currently not subject to detainment orders and “free to reoffend.” 

Jordan and McClintock question why Trickler-McNulty has lauded “alternatives to detention” for migrants rather than detention and deportation.

“In the face of these unprecedented numbers, you have touted the benefits of ‘alternatives to detention’ (ATD),” the letter states. “In a webinar with the Migration Policy Institute in September 2021, you stated, ‘We should be looking very critically about how we use detention, who’s placed in detention, how long they are in detention, and what we can do to use it, you know, as judiciously as possible.’”

“You also stated that ICE ‘should always be looking to see if there is an alternative [to detention] that would be appropriate’ and noted that ICE should use its detention resources ‘only when absolutely necessary.’” 

The congressmen note that Trickler-McNulty’s emphasis on “alternatives to detention” – a process that generally requires migrants to submit to GPS tracking or reporting their whereabouts on a smartphone app – came after ICE had concluded ATD had “little value.” 

They also cite the case of Diego Ibarra, the brother of Laken Riley’s alleged killer Jose Ibrarra, noting that the Venezuelan national and alleged gang member had been let into the country by border agents with an ankle monitor in April 2023, under ATD, but promptly cut himself free from the device and absconded from authorities in Colorado. 

“As the Assistant Director for the Office of Immigration Program Evaluation, you have information that is relevant and necessary to our oversight of the Executive Branch’s enforcement of federal immigration law,” the letter to Trickler-McNulty concludes. Accordingly, we request that you make yourself available for a transcribed interview with the Committee as soon as possible.”

Before her appointment to ICE, Trickler-McNulty was the deputy director for legal services at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a nonprofit group opposed to the deportation of unaccompanied minors who enter the country illegally. 

Trickler-McNulty was asked to submit to questioning before the House Homeland Security Committee last year in relation to “suspicious contracts awarded by ICE” to her former colleague, Andrew Lorenzen-Strait.

Lorenzen-Strait left the Biden transition team in 2020 to work for the nonprofit group Endeavor, which received millions in ICE contracts for migrant services, according to the committee. 

ICE did not respond to The Post’s request for comment. 

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