Fewer Illegal Immigrants Deported Despite Increase in Arrests

In this photo made Thursday, March 6, 2015, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent escorts a handcuffed undocumented immigrant convicted of a felony that was taken into custody during an early morning operation in Dallas. The Department of Homeland Security has been conducting a nationwide roundup of undocumented immigrants convicted of felonies in order to deport them to their country of origin. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Immigration arrests in the United States have increased almost 40 percent so far in 2017 under the Trump Administration and agents have detained more than 40,000 people suspected of being in the country illegally. Immigration agents have renewed their focus on immigrants without criminal convictions, which has been met with stark criticism by immigration advocates. Under the Trump Administration, about 41,300 people have been arrested for deportation from late January to April, which is a 38 percent increase compared to the same time period last year. Almost 11,000 of those people that were arrested for deportation had no criminal convictions, which is more than double the amount of immigrants without criminal convictions arrested compared to the same period last year. In response to the increase in arrests of illegal immigrants, acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan stated,

Their job is to enforce the law, and that is exactly what they’re doing.

Even with the increase in arrests of people suspected of being in the country illegally, the number of deportations is actually down from late January to April compared to the same time period last year under the Obama Administration. Immigration arrests doubled in the Miami and Dallas metro areas, while in and around Los Angeles they rose 5 percent and dropped slightly in the San Francisco area. According to Homan, the number of deportations fell 12 percent from the period of late January to April during the same time period last year. Homan attributed the drop in deportations to a decline in arrests on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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