Immigration arrests rise in first months of Trump administration

Darin HammondApr 18, 2017

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement removal authorities made 21,362 arrests from January 20 to March 13 of this year, including 5,441 non-criminals, according to statistics provided to CNN and first requested by The Washington Post.

Advocates for immigrants say the unbridled enforcement has led to a sharp drop in reports from Latinos of sexual assaults and other crimes in Houston and Los Angeles, and terrified immigrant communities across the United States.

While the Post notes that the total arrests thus far for this year are lower than the 29,238 undocumented immigrants arrested during the opening months of 2014 under President Barack Obama-who now holds the record for most deportations of any US president in history-it's important to see these early numbers as part of a larger whole.

The number of illegal immigrants without criminal records arrested was 5,441, which was double in comparison to the number of arrests from that same period previous year.

"As [Homeland Security] Secretary [John F.] Kelly has made clear, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement", Eleza said. This was a shift from what he said on the campaign trail, when he called for a stricter policy on all undocumented immigrants.

Immigration arrests have risen 32.6 percent since a year ago, when 16,104 people were arrested in the same time frame.

"We are very appreciative of the continued confidence placed in our company by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement", GEO chairman and CEO George C. Zoley said in a prepared statement. Meanwhile, ICE detainers rose by 75 percent to 22,161.

However, some of the indignation may be more political than professional.

Trump told 60 Minutes just after he was elected president that under his administration ICE would, "make a determination on people...who are terrific people, but we are gonna make a determination at that".

Carlos A. Gimenez, Republican mayor of Florida's Miami-Dade, noted that there have been more immigration protests in the city under Trump than he saw under former President Barack Obama.

Joanne Lin, senior legislative counsel with the ACLU told the Post, "I think the instruction is, "Go about your business" in terms of apprehending immigrants.It's wherever they can find them".

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