Homeland Security: Arrests along Mexico border down in 2017

A U.S. Border Patrol officer stands near prototypes of President Trump's proposed border wall in San Diego.   Frederic J. Brown    
  AFP  Getty Images
A U.S. Border Patrol officer stands near prototypes of President Trump's proposed border wall in San Diego. Frederic J. Brown AFP Getty Images
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08 December, 2017

The numbers show illegal border crossings have dropped while arrests and removals of people living in the USA illegally are up both nationally and in Colorado.

The numbers reported by AP come amidst the Trump administration's immigration crackdown.

"However, if you look at ICE deportations, people that are arrested in the interior and were removed, those numbers are up nearly 40 percent".

Administrative arrests mean no criminal prosecution was associated with the arrest.

At ICE headquarters on Tuesday, Acting Director Thomas Homan declared his agency in 2017 has been unleashed to carry out its mission.

"We need to find a solution to the unsafe "sanctuary city" policies and the politicians who needlessly risk innocent lives to protect criminals who are illegally present in the United States", said ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan. While immigration advocates say the hardline enforcement is unfair, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said they are just getting started. "It puts my officers at risk to go knock on a door rather than arresting someone in the safety and security of a jail".

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In the 2017 fiscal year, USA border agents made 310,531 arrests, a decline of 24 percent from 2016 and the lowest number since 1971. While in Maryland, 1,666 people were arrested in immigration enforcement operations, according to data provided by ICE. "Interior removals", which are deportations after being arrested away from the border, increased 25 percent.

ICE reports 92 percent of people the agency administratively arrested between January 20 and the end of FY2017, had a criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge, were an ICE fugitive or were an illegal re-entrant.

Illegal migration was at its lowest level immediately following President Trump's election win, perhaps because President Trump's rhetoric on immigration deterred would-be border crossers. But overall removals, which include people apprehended at the border, are lower than a year ago because there simply haven't been as many immigrants entering the country illegally.

The drop brings arrests along the US-Mexico border to the lowest level since 1971, according to immigration officials.

Border patrol agents arrested 536 gang-affiliated illegal aliens, including members of MS-13, Surenos, Paisas, and 18th Street gang members.

Officials said a total of 2,370 pounds of fentanyl and $524 million in illicit currency and assets were seized.


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