Arrests for Illegal Border Crossings Hit 46-Year Low

A U.S. Border Patrol officer stands near prototypes of President Trump's proposed border wall in San Diego.   Frederic J. Brown    
  AFP  Getty Images

A U.S. Border Patrol officer stands near prototypes of President Trump's proposed border wall in San Diego. Frederic J. Brown AFP Getty Images

"The overall removals are down because the Border Patrol has reported a 45-year low in illegal border crossings".

From the beginning of the Trump Administration in January through the rest of the fiscal year, which ended on September 30, ICE says Enforcement and Removal Operations arrests increased 40 percent. "However, if you look at ICE deportations, people that are arrested in the interior and were removed, those numbers are up nearly 40 percent".

The number of arrests made at the U.S. -Mexico border hit its lowest level since 1971, new Homeland Security figures show.

. "The border is in more control than it has been in quite some time, but this is a time to accelerate those gains, and having an enforcement zone and having the equipment for our agents to operate safely will prevent future problems for us". But, "to take the 1,000 arrests a day to say that we're finished, it's not stating what the facts are".

While arrests near the US-Mexico border have declined, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Removal Operations (ERO) have drastically increased immigrant roundups far away from the crossings.

The dramatic shift in arrests of undocumented immigrants from the Southwest border to the interior of the nation continues to be a prominent feature of the Trump presidency.

"The Trump administration has been unapologetic about its war on immigrant families and a deeply problematic enforcement agency at ICE has been only too happy to carry out orders meant to de-diversify this country".

ICE reports 92 percent of people the agency administratively arrested between January 20 and the end of FY2017, had a criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge, were an ICE fugitive or were an illegal re-entrant.

Homan stressed that 92 percent of all ICE arrests this fiscal year were of those who had criminal convictions.

But that number masks a striking uptick in arrests away from the border. And they were up 37 percent after Trump's inauguration compared to the same period a year earlier.

- The Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration is producing big results as D.C., Maryland and Virginia have together seen thousands of people arrested.

In March, former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testified to Congress that fewer than 17,000 people had been arrested along the southern border that month. "That's a good thing", said Ronald Vitiello, the acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. Immigration authorities caught just over half of the people who illegally entered the US from Mexico in 2015, according to a report commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security. That is a considerable decrease from previous year, presumably due to a reduction in the number attempted illegal crossings into the United States.

"We are seeing a lot of people now who have long established ties in the United States", said Joanna Foote Williams, the Kino Border Initiative's director of education and advocacy, as about 40 men and a few women ate eggs, refried beans and tortillas.

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