Arrests of illegal immigrants have spiked in the first three months of President Donald Trump’s administration, signaling that Trump intends to make good on immigration-related campaign promises.
According to a Washington Post report, U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement agents arrested 21,362 immigrants from Jan. 20 to March 13 of this year compared to just 16,104 during the same period in 2016. That represents nearly a 33 percent increase under Trump compared to former President Barack Obama.
Nearly three-quarters of immigrants arrested this year had prior criminal convictions, but the biggest jump was in arrests of illegal immigrants without criminal convictions who have been otherwise law-abiding.
ICE agents under Trump have arrested 5,441 immigrants with no criminal records, which is more than double the number of non-criminal illegal immigrants arrested under Obama during the same period last year.
According to the Post, many ICE field offices have doubled or tripled the number of arrests of immigrants with no criminal records.
From the post:
ICE’s Atlanta office arrested the most immigrants who had never committed any crimes, with nearly 700 arrests, up from 137 the prior year. Philadelphia had the biggest percentage increase, with 356 noncriminal arrests, more than six times as many as the year before.
The ICE field offices with the largest total number of arrests — more than 2,000 each — were in Dallas, which covers north Texas and Oklahoma; Atlanta, which includes Georgia and the Carolinas; and Houston, which spans Southeast Texas.
However, while arrests are up, deportations are down, according to the Post. In the first three months of the Trump administration, 54,741 immigrants have been deported, a 1.2 percent drop compared to the same period last year.
ICE spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea told the Post that government bureaucracy and time are the reasons behind the overall decline in deportations.
Still, the numbers indicate Trump is making good on campaign promises.
During his run for the White House last year, Trump routinely said that any immigrant in the U.S. illegally could be deported under his administration.
However, Trump changed his tone in days just following his election saying in an interview with “60 Minutes” that his government would focus on deporting illegal immigrants who have committed crimes over those who have established roots and are otherwise law-abiding.