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ICE announces drastic increase in immigration arrests in Trump's first 100 days

A U.S. Border Patrol officer body searches an illegal immigrant after he illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border near Rio Grande City, Texas. ICE announced Wednesday that illegal immigrant arrests increased nearly 40 percent from the same period last year. (2015 File Photo/John Moore/Getty Images)

According to the office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, illegal immigrant arrests have risen by nearly 40 percent in the first 100 days of President Donald Trump's term as compared to the same period in 2016.

ICE celebrated the news on its official social media account:

According to the statement from ICE, the arrests were made between Jan. 22 and April 29, and added up to 41,318 individuals on civil immigration charges. This was a rise of 37.6 percent of the 30,028 arrests made in the similar period in 2016, during former President Barack Obama's last year in office.

The statement made it clear that ICE attributed the rise in arrests to Trump's leadership and policy emphasis.

“These statistics reflect President Trump’s commitment to enforce our immigration laws fairly and across the board," said ICE acting Director Thomas Homan.

"ICE agents and officers have been given clear direction to focus on threats to public safety and national security," he said, "which has resulted in a substantial increase in the arrest of convicted criminal aliens."

The ICE statement added more statistics detailing the character of the arrests:

Nearly 75 percent of those arrested during this period in 2017 are convicted criminals, with offenses ranging from homicide and assault to sexual abuse and drug-related charges.

The arrest of aliens at-large in the community increased by more than 50 percent, from 8,381 last year to 12,766 arrests this year during the same period.

The arrest of convicted criminal aliens climbed nearly 20 percent, from 25,786 last year to 30,473 this year.

The immigration enforcement has been controversial as media reports document illegal immigrants who have committed no other crime being rounded up along with criminal illegal immigrants. Trump had said he would have criminal illegal immigrants deported, and figure out what to do with otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants later.

The statement from ICE said unequivocally that all people illegally in the United States can be arrested:

...Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has made it clear that ICE will no longer exempt any class of individuals from removal proceedings if they are found to be in the country illegally. This is evident by the rise in non-criminal arrests over the same period, which increased from approximately 4,200 in 2016 to more than 10,800 in 2017.

Trump's strict rhetoric on deporting illegal immigrants has been credited for the enormous and unprecedented drop by 40 percent in illegal immigrant crossings measured by ICE in March.

ICE also recently reported a historic sweep of gang members that also included former recipients of Obama's "DREAM act" amnesty order.

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