Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Life&Culture | By Kristin Armstrong

ICE Arrests Skyrocket Thanks to Trump's Immigration Executive Orders

ICE Arrests Skyrocket Thanks to Trump's Immigration Executive Orders

US arrests of suspected illegal immigrants rose by almost 40 percent in the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency, following executive orders that broadened the scope of who could be targeted for immigration violations, according to government data released on Wednesday.The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Thomas Homan said that arrests by his agency jumped to 41,318 between January 22 of this year and the end of April, up from 30,028 arrests in roughly the same period last year.

The number of arrests of suspected undocumented immigrants, has increased by nearly 40 per cent since Donald Trump became the president.

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.

The increase in arrests of people without criminal convictions has generated outrage across the USA from Trump opponents who believe otherwise law-abiding families are being rounded up.

"These statistics reflect President Trump's commitment to enforce our immigration laws fairly and across the board", ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said in a statement from the agency.

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The non-criminal arrests of at-large immigrants increased 52 percent.

While immigration arrests from January to April 2016 were lower than 2017, 92 percent of those arrested had criminal records, as opposed to 75 percent with criminal records under Trump, according to data provided to NBC News by ICE. Trump also allowed ICE agents to focus on undocumented immigrants who they deem to be a "risk to public safety or national security". However, the agency did not specify whether traffic convictions were included under the term "convicted criminals".

Under former President Barack Obama, only immigrants who were involved in gangs or had been convicted of a felony or several misdemeanors were considered deportation priorities. During 2016, officers arrested 8,381 immigrants, while in 2017 they arrested 12,776.

On Wednesday, Homan emphasized all undocumented immigrants will still receive their day in court and be able to fight back against their removal. "We are a nation of laws, and ignoring orders issued by federal judges undermines our constitutional government". It does not include figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, for example, which annually detains hundreds of thousands of people entering illegally along the country's borders.

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