The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says in the 100 days since US President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Orders (EOs) regarding immigration enforcement priorities, immigration agents have arrested more than 41,000 Caribbean and other immigrants who are either known or suspected of being in the US illegally.
On Wednesday, ICE said this reflects an increase of 37.6 per cent over the same period in 2016.
Between January 22 and April 29, ICE said its Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) deportation officers administratively arrested 41,318 individuals on civil immigration charges.
Between January 24 and April 30, 2016, ERO arrested 30,028.
“These statistics reflect President Trump’s commitment to enforce our immigration laws fairly and across the board,” said ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan. “ICE agents and officers have been given clear direction to focus on threats to public safety and national security, which has resulted in a substantial increase in the arrest of convicted criminal aliens [immigrants].
“However, when we encounter others who are in the country unlawfully, we will execute our sworn duty and enforce the law,” he added. “As the data demonstrates, ICE continues to execute our mission professionally and in accordance with the law, and our communities will be much safer for it.”
ICE said nearly 75 per cent of those arrested during this period in 2017 are convicted criminals, with offenses ranging from homicide and assault to sexual abuse and drug-related charges.
The arrest of immigrants at-large in the community increased by more than 50 per cent, from 8,381 last year to 12,766 arrests this year during the same period, ICE said.
It said the arrest of convicted criminal immigrants climbed nearly 20 percent, from 25,786 last year to 30,473 this year, adding that violent crimes, such as homicide, rape, kidnapping and assault accounted for more than 2,700 convictions.
In total, since Trump signed the EROs, ICE said its immigration enforcement activity has resulted in more than 400 arrests per day, “including the capture of egregious and violent offenders.”
While these data clearly reflect the fact that convicted criminals are an immigration enforcement priority, ICE said Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has made it clear that ICE will no longer exempt any class of individuals from removal proceedings if they are found to be in the US illegally.
ICE said this is evident by the rise in non-criminal arrests over the same period, which increased from about 4,200 in 2016 to more than 10,800 in 2017.
“All of those arrested will receive the due process afforded to them under the law,” Homan said. “ICE will take action to remove individuals subject to a final order by a federal immigration judge.
“We are a nation of laws, and ignoring orders issued by federal judges undermines our constitutional government,” he added.