WASHINGTON – Data released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security shows that over the past year arrests made at U.S. borders are sharply down while arrests of undocumented immigrants inside the U.S. are sharply up.
Figures from the Customs and Border Patrol Agency show that arrests at U.S. borders in fiscal year 2017, which ended Sept. 30, dropped by nearly 24 percent. The large majority of the arrests occurred along the southwest border.
Figures from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) show that since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, arrests of undocumented persons inside the U.S. climbed by 42 percent when compared to the same period last year.
Trump administration officials said the figures reflect the president’s immigration policies, including his January executive order on border security and immigration. The order undid the Obama administration’s policy of only targeting undocumented immigrants for deportation who committed serious crimes or had recently entered the U.S.
Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan denied allegations of predatory behavior by his officers during a Tuesday news conference. Asked about the case of an undocumented immigrant who spoke to the press and was later visited and taken into custody by ICE agents who told him they’d seen the article, Homan said:
“If the person was here illegally and they came to our attention, we did our job. We did our sworn duty. And, we did the job enforcing the law that Congress enacted.”