More immigrants arrested, fewer deported 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

The new data released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Wednesday shows the marked increase in the federal crackdown by Homeland Security and ICE on people living in the U.S. illegally-no matter their criminal record.

Although deportation officer arrests are up, removals went down by about 12 percent compared to the same period past year, to about 56,300, Homan said.

Days after Trump took office, he issued an executive order that made clear that anyone in the United States illegally could be deported and ended former president Barack Obama's policy of frequently granting reprieves from deportation to undocumented immigrants with clean criminal records or us -born children. However, it maintains the vast majority of target fugitives are those with serious criminal records that pose a threat to public safety, like a 21-year-old Mexican national who was arrested in a traffic stop in Santa Ana.

About 4,200 undocumented immigrants without criminal convictions were arrested during the same period, from late January until the end of April, in 2016.

Deportations under Trump have actually fallen by 12% compared to the same period under former President Barack Obama, Homan said, as more people arrested in the interior typically have more complicated cases that can get slowed down in the backlogged immigration court system. "Absolutely", Homan said. "That's enforcing the laws that are on the books". 'We are always questioned why we arrest someone who is not a criminal, but those who illegally cross the border are breaking the law.

The April 13 arrest in Denver, Colorado, of Jose Victor Bonilla-Melendez, one of ICE's "Most Wanted Fugitives", in Denver, Colorado, following a public tip.

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Kice added as a way of encouraging victims and witnesses to come forward, "the agency works closely with state and local law enforcement to see that foreign nationals who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking crimes are informed about the availability of special visas to enable them to remain in the U.S".

ICE agents also could exercise prosecutorial discretion and decide not to deport certain individuals based on a number of factors, including the length of stay in the USA and whether the person had US -born children.

Three-quarters of those arrested had criminal convictions, which include traffic violations and other minor offenses. For example, if an ICE officer entered a home looking for an undocumented immigrant with a violent record, they would not arrest other people found in the home.

The immigration agency also sought to highlight arrests of gang members and murder and child molestation suspects who were among those detained.

The bill removes the ability of any president to unilaterally shut down immigration enforcement by granting states and localities the authority to enforce federal immigration laws consistent with federal practices.

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