Immigration enforcement under Trump: Fewer people caught at border, more arrested inside the US
08 December, 2017, 01:29
Shortly after taking office, Trump broadened the Obama administration's fairly narrow arrest and deportation priorities, under which immigration agents had largely focused on those with felonies or multiple misdemeanors as well as recent border crossers.
The number of people arrested crossing the US border from Mexico has reached the lowest level in 46 years as deportations has risen, according to government statistics Tuesday.
But officers expelled about 6% fewer people from the United States during the government's 2017 fiscal year, partly because the drop in illegal border crossings left the agency with fewer cases of people to deport.
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At ICE headquarters on Tuesday, Acting Director Thomas Homan declared his agency in 2017 has been unleashed to carry out its mission.
"However, if you look at ICE deportations, people that are arrested in the interior and were removed, those numbers are up nearly 40 percent".
The rule change effectively paved the way for anyone stopped in the USA without documents to be held by deportation officers, say immigration advocates. "Knowingly releasing a public safety threat into the public is just bad".
From the beginning of the Trump Administration in January through the rest of the fiscal year, which ended on September 30, ICE says Enforcement and Removal Operations arrests increased 40 percent.
Arrests picked back up in May though, according to the report. But overall removals, which include people apprehended at the border, are lower than previous year because there simply haven't been as many immigrants entering the country illegally.
ICE reports the number of removals from the same timeframe that resulted from an ICE arrest increased 37 percent. The number of border arrests represents a 45-year low. It is sending more of those people home than in the past-more than 60,000 since Trump took office compared to almost 45,000 in the same period the previous year.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports its agents made 310,531 arrests in FY17, a decline of 24 percent from the year before.
According to ICE, in FY2017 Homeland Security Investigations arrested 796 MS-13 gang members and associates, which was an 83 percent increase compared to the fiscal year before.
Officials said a total of 2,370 pounds of fentanyl and $524 million in illicit currency and assets were seized.
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