US POLITICS

Under Trump, ICE Arrests 100 Noncriminal Immigrants A Day

New federal figures show that the president's deportation force is rounding up far more law-abiding immigrants compared to his predecessor.

US POLITICS
REUTERS
May 17, 2017 at 2:14 PM ET

Immigration authorities each day are now arresting more than 400 people suspected of living in the country illegally — and more than a quarter of them have no prior criminal history, according to new federal data.

The figures, released Wednesday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, show that federal agents rounded up 41,318 people during President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, a nearly 40 percent increase compared to the same period last year. But the aggressive crackdown on immigration also led to an even more dramatic increase in the number of undocumented residents arrested who have never been convicted of any crime.

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Between Jan. 22 and April 29, ICE detained 10,845 immigrants living in the country illegally without a criminal record, according to statistics compiled by the agency. That’s a 256 percent increase from the 4,242 arrested under former President Barack Obama during the same period last year.

During a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, acting ICE Director Thomas Homan was unapologetic about the policy change and its apparent effect.

“Will the number of non-criminal arrests and removals increase this year? Absolutely,” Homan said. “That’s enforcing the laws on the books.”

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Homan’s sentiment, coupled with a surge in noncriminal arrests by ICE, is precisely what immigrant rights groups and advocates feared when Trump signed an executive order early in his presidency to make almost any immigrant living illegally in the U.S. a target for deportation.

In addition to the noncriminal arrests, ICE also managed to arrest more than 2,700 undocumented immigrants previously convicted of violent crimes, including murder, rape, and assault, the agency said.