Immigration arrests up 38% nationwide under Trump

An Orange County Sheriff's deputy keeps a watch over a group of immigration detainees in the medical and dental care area at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange Calif. Tuesday Sept. 28 2010

Immigration arrests up nearly 40% under Trump; one-quarter had no criminal record

But there was also a significant jump - of more than 150 percent - in the number of immigrants not convicted of further crimes arrested by ICE: 10,800 since the beginning of the year compared to 4,200 non-criminal arrests in the same period in 2016.That increase is a result of recent guidance given by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to implement Trump's executive orders on interior immigration enforcement and border security signed on January 25, just days after the Republican president took office.

The United States has arrested more than 41,000 illegal immigrants since President Donald Trump signed executive orders to crack down on illegal immigration to the country, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said on Wednesday. This represents a 38 percent increase over the same period a year ago and an average rate of more than 400 arrests per day.

Almost 75 percent of the people arrested this year had been convicted of crimes ranging from assault and drug abuse to homicide, ICE said.

"We are going to get the bad ones out - the criminals, the drug deals and gangs", Trump said.

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On Jan. 25, five days after he took office, Trump signed an executive order that ended the "catch and release" policy that ICE agents followed for undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes.

While President Barack Obama was also criticized for deporting a large number of immigrants, a lot of them were recent border crossers apprehended entering the country illegally.

The data follows earlier reporting by The Washington Post that found that of 675 immigrants ICE arrested in raids in early February, half had no criminal convictions, or had at most committed traffic violations. In that order, the president expanded the pool of undocumented immigrants considered "priorities" for deportation.

But advocates for immigrants have protested the arrests of immigrants with no criminal records who were not targeted by the previous administration of President Barack Obama.

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ICE did see a drop in one area: deportations. During 2016, officers arrested 8,381 immigrants, while in 2017 they arrested 12,776. However, the agency did not specify whether traffic convictions were included under the term "convicted criminals".

Homan said the arrest increase came from stepped up enforcement, adding that morale has improved among agents under Trump because they were "allowed to do their job".

The number of people deported from the USA has declined under President Donald Trump.

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