Immigrant arrests, deportations increase in Colorado during first year of Trump presidency

Arrests along Mexico border drop sharply under Trump, new statistics show

The federal government has provided the most complete statistical snapshot of immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump. At the same time, arrests along the Mexican border have fallen sharply, apparently as fewer people have tried to sneak into the U.S.

The number of people arrested crossing the US border from Mexico has reached the lowest level in 46 years as deportations has risen, according to government statistics Tuesday. One reason for that, officials said, was the steep 24% drop in border arrests.

In the 2017 fiscal year, US border agents made 310,531 arrests, a decline of 24 percent from 2016 and the lowest number since 1971.

Many agents at Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement felt that they were constrained by Obama administration rules that allowed them to go after only unsafe criminals.

Officials have credited that drop to Trump's harsh anti-immigration rhetoric and policies, including widely publicized arrests of immigrants living in the USA illegally.

The administration has said its immigration policies emphasize national security but there is no indication that a higher rate of risky criminals are being apprehended, detained or deported, compared to under Barack Obama.

"You've really had a realignment in migration from Mexico", she said, noting that the numbers of Mexicans apprehended in 2017 fell by 34 percent from the previous year.

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According to the agency, the total ICE removal numbers for FY17 decreased 6 percent from last fiscal year, which is something the department attributes to the decline in border arrests. Of the arrests, 304,000 were made along the Southwest border.

ICE said "interior removals" - people deported after being arrested away from the border - jumped 25 per cent to 81,603.

"Under this president, who's now letting us do our job and taking the handcuffs off the men and women of the Border Patrol and ICE, arrests are up", Homan said on "America's Newsroom". The increase in the period since Trump has been president is 37 percent.

"It's easy, when you go from zero to 100, you're going to see an increase", Homan said.

In February, former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who now serves as Trump's chief of staff, scrapped the Obama administration's instructions to limit deportations to public safety threats, convicted criminals and recent border crossers, effectively making anyone in the country illegally vulnerable.

Much of the period covers the time after Mr Trump's USA election victory in November 2016, following his campaign pledge to build a wall along the Mexican border. No longer would they only arrest unauthorized immigrants who had committed serious crimes or had entered the country recently. He has also pushed for funding for his border wall.

"Yeah, the traffic is down". But, "to take the 1,000 arrests a day to say that we're finished, it's not stating what the facts are".

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