Immigration arrests fell steadily through Barack Obama’s presidency, but have rebounded sharply since President Donald Trump assumed the White House last January.
What do the numbers show?
Arrests made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents rose by 30 percent during Trump’s first full year in the White House, a new Pew Research analysis found. The number marks a 3-year high.
- In fiscal year 2017, ICE made 143,470 arrests — a 30 percent increase from fiscal year 2016.
- The surge began in late January when Trump assumed office on Jan. 20. From Trump’s inauguration to the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, ICE made 110,568 arrests, or about a 42 percent increase from the same period in the previous year.
- The arrests are substantially down from Obama’s first year in office when nearly 300,000 arrests were made. However, that number decreased almost every year of Obama’s 8-year presidency.
- The biggest arrest increases happened in Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and ICE’s St. Paul field office, which overs the upper mid-west.
- The Dallas area saw the most arrests with 16,520.
Part of the reason for the decline in arrests under Obama, as the Washington Free Beacon noted, was because Obama tasked federal immigration authorities with arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants who were national security threats, public safety threats, border security threats or those with extensive criminal histories.
Trump, on the other hand, has broadened the scope of people immigration agencies target.
Just five days after becoming president, Trump signed an executive order instructing immigration authorities to target any undocumented immigrant who commits a crime, was charged with a crime or who was convicted of a crime.