Border arrests drop as deportation arrests spike

by Garry Watts December 8, 2017, 1:29
Border arrests drop as deportation arrests spike

Meanwhile, deportations jumped by more than half, according to numbers released Tuesday. The number of border arrests represents a 45-year low.

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.

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.

"We need to find a solution to the unsafe "sanctuary city" policies and the politicians who needlessly risk innocent lives to protect criminals who are illegally present in the United States", said ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan. Of those detained, 73 percent had criminal convictions, compared with 87 percent of the immigrants the agency arrested the year before.

The president "is doing the right thing", said Thomas Homan, acting director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS.) But the agency's flurry of statistics proving its good work also serves as an argument against the need for Trump's long-proposed border wall between Mexico and the US.

Administrative arrests mean no criminal prosecution was associated with the arrest.

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In February, the Trump administration overturned an Obama-era rule that required USA authorities to target only undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes or posing a threat to public safety.

During the 2015 fiscal year, ICE arrested 2,351 people in Colorado and Wyoming and removed 1,156 people. Yet, he stressed again, no one is exempt from arrest and removal.

The AP report noted that Trump's victory in the election could have dissuaded prospective border crossers and that the number of border agents has decreased. While immigration advocates say the hardline enforcement is unfair, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said they are just getting started.

As border crossings have declined this year, the interior of the country has come to account for more of the total arrests and deportations.

A majority, 58 percent, of the arrests made by the Border Patrol were individuals from countries not including Mexico, the report said. "We will feel more and more like we're living at the border".


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