ICE Arrests in US Rose by 42% in 2017

ICE Arrests in US Rose by 42% in 2017

Colorado and Wyoming saw a major uptick in the number of people arrested and deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the first year of the Trump administration, according to new numbers released by the agency Tuesday.

"ICE will no longer exempt any class of removable alien from potential enforcement activity", Thomas Homan, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told reporters during a briefing Tuesday.

Homan says the Trump administration has cast a wider net when picking up people for deportation.

According to numbers from ICE, federal immigration authorities deported fewer illegal immigrants in 2017 than in 2016, even as they arrested far more people suspected of being in the United States illegally.

Despite the overall decline in border arrests, the numbers have increased every month since May - largely families and unaccompanied children.

Border officers apprehended 310,531 people for being in the country illegally in fiscal 2017, a 25 percent decrease from the year before.

CBP said while there was an overall decline in border apprehensions, there continued to be an increase in people traveling from Central America, including unaccompanied children.

"We have clearly seen the successful results of the president's commitment to supporting the front line officers and agents of (the Department of Homeland Security) as they enforce the law and secure our borders", acting secretary Elaine Duke said in a statement.

Between January 20 and September 30, Homan said, 8 per cent of the around 111,000 people arrested by ICE were "collateral arrests", or people who were not the original focus of the agency.

Trump campaigned as an immigration hard-liner, accusing Mexico of sending rapists and other criminals to the US and promising to build "a great wall on our southern border".

TPS is an immigration program which allows people from countries recovering from disaster - mainly Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Haiti - to live and work in the USA legally.

Even as border crossings decline, however, Trump continues to push for his promised wall along the border - a wall that critics say is unnecessary and a waste of cash.

South of the Arizona border in the Mexican town of Nogales, numerous deportees who were eating breakfast Monday at a dining room run by a nonprofit group had been picked up in the USA far from the border.

CBP, which has faced allegations of excessive use of force, said its employees used firearms 17 times during the fiscal year, down from 27 the previous year and 58 in 2012.

During the 2015 fiscal year, ICE arrested 2,351 people in Colorado and Wyoming and removed 1,156 people. Border Patrol arrests occur outside of those official points of entry. CBP said its employees were assaulted 847 times, up from 585 a year earlier and less than 600 each year going back to 2012.