I'm trying to reconcile two different sets of data.

The House Judiciary committee reports:

year Criminal Alien Removals Non-Criminal Removals Total
2015 139368 96045 235413
2014 177960 137983 315943
2013 216810 151834 368644
2012 225390 184459 409849
2011 216698 180208 396906
2010 195772 197090 392862
2009 136343 253491 389834

while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reports:

year Removals
2015 333341
2014 407075
2013 434015
2012 416324
2011 386020
2010 381738
2009 391341

In the footnotes of that table, "Removals" are defined as

Removals are the compulsory and confirmed movement of an inadmissible or deportable alien out of the United States based on an order of removal. An alien who is removed has administrative or criminal consequences placed on subsequent reentry owing to the fact of the removal.

I believe the criteria for "inadmissible or deportable alien" comes from 8 U.S. Code § 1227 - Deportable aliens.

The DHS glossary defines "Criminal Removal" as

The deportation, exclusion, or removal of an alien who has 1) been charged under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that requires a criminal conviction and that charge is the basis for the removal or 2) a criminal conviction noted in the Deportable Alien Control System (DACS) for a crime that renders the alien removable. An alien with an appropriate criminal conviction is considered a criminal alien regardless of the section of law under which the alien was removed.

Note that although the definition comes from the DHS, the term "Criminal Alien Removals" (which I assume is the same as "Criminal Removals") is used in the Judiciary Committee report.

Since court orders are not the same as convictions, "Removals" is a broader category than "Criminal Alien Removals". However, based on the names I would expect "Criminal Alien Removals" plus "Non-Criminal Removals" to equal "Removals", but the numbers above do not bear that out:

year Total Removals Difference Percent
2015 235413 333341 97928 29.38
2014 315943 407075 91132 22.39
2013 368644 434015 65371 15.06
2012 409849 416324 6475 1.56
2011 396906 386020 -10886 -2.82
2010 392862 381738 -11124 -2.91
2009 389834 391341 1507 0.39
  • Is there a way to reconcile the two sets of data? Is there a way to account for the difference between "Total" (i.e. the sum of "Criminal Alien Removals" and "Non-Criminal Removals") and "Removals"?

  • Or is one of the two sets of data wrong? If so, which one?

  • 1
    I think the DHS number is generally higher because of the "exclusion" word in their definition which doesn't seem to be part of the Judiciary Committee numbers. Just guessing.
    – JasonR
    Feb 17, 2017 at 12:32
  • @JasonR: Although I found the (a?) definition of "Criminal Removal" on the DHS website, the term "Criminal Alien Removal" was used in the Judiciary Committee report. So if "exclusion" broadens the definition of "Criminal Alien Removal", I think we should expect (if anything) Judiciary Committee numbers to be higher. Apologies if the way I presented the definitions make this confusing.
    – unutbu
    Feb 17, 2017 at 13:43
  • Biggest difference I see is about a 25% difference in the 2014 #'s. While largish, its nowhere near the order-of-magnitude difference I'd want to see before wondering if shenanigans were going on. Probably either a minor difference in definitions, or in what data was gathered.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 17, 2017 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


There are two reasons for the discrepancies:

  1. The first table (House Judiciary) solely represents aliens removed by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

The second table adds aliens removed by Customs and Border Protection.

DHS Releases End of Fiscal Year 2015 Statistics

  1. ICE states:

ICE removals include removals and returns where aliens were turned over to ICE for removal efforts

In other words, though ICE uses the term "removals" in the House Judiciary table, they are including some "returns". They really "removed" fewer than what they are saying.

Overall the second (DHS) table is the one that corresponds to the title of the question, (number of non-citizens "removed").

  • 1
    There is an agency called "Customs and Border Protection," and there is one called "Border Patrol," but there is none called "Customs and Border Patrol." Customs and Border Protection is the agency that refuses admission at the border; some people who are refused admission are "removed" without ever being inside the US.
    – phoog
    May 2, 2022 at 0:33
  • @phoog you're right of about the current name of the CBP, but they also used the term "CBP Board Patrol" on some badges and uniforms.
    – DavePhD
    May 2, 2022 at 12:05
  • CBP has been called that since its founding. There is an agency, now subordinate to CBP, that is called "US Border Patrol." It's surely confusing, but all the more reason to be precise here. Aliens who are removed after being denied entry will have been removed by Chap's office of field operations (I use lower case because I am not certain of the precise name, but I do know that its agents are called "field officers"). CBP field officers wear blue uniforms and enforce both customs and immigration laws at ports of entry. Border Patrol officers wear green uniforms and guard ...
    – phoog
    May 2, 2022 at 12:25
  • ... the rest of the border. CBP field officers should be associated almost exclusively with removals of travelers who are detained while applying for admission at a port of entry, thus never having been legally admitted, but also never having entered without inspection. This is "exclusion," mentioned above. In reconciling figures like this, we have to look at whether exclusion is included and at whether USBP figures are included with CBP or not -- it's subordinate on the organization chart but operates fairly independently, so it would not be surprising if it were treated as a separate body.
    – phoog
    May 2, 2022 at 12:33
  • @phoog ok, I changed to " Protection" in the answer.
    – DavePhD
    May 2, 2022 at 12:44

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