Arrests of Undocumented Immigrants With No Criminal Records More Than Doubles Under Trump

By Kenrya Rankin May 18, 2017

A new report from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shows that immigration arrests are up—particularly among people with no criminal records.

Released yesterday (May 17), the report details immigration arrests in the 100 days since President Donald Trump’s January 25 executive orders that redefined the nation’s interpretation and enforcement of immigration policy. In that 100-day period, ICE officers arrested 41,318 undocumented immigrants. That’s a 37.6 percent increase over the same period last year (30,028 arrests).

But despite Trump’s assertion in the executive orders that immigration efforts are primarily meant to remove “criminals who have served time in our federal, state and local jails,” that increase is dwarfed by the relative jump in arrests of people with no criminal records.

While 2016 saw the arrest of about 4,200 people with no criminal histories, that number jumped to 10,800 this year. That’s more than an 150 percent increase. Meanwhile, the increase in arrests of people with criminal convictions on their record was less than 20 percent (from 25,786 to 30,473).

“These statistics reflect President Trump’s commitment to enforce our immigration laws fairly and across the board,” ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said in the report. “ICE agents and officers have been given clear direction to focus on threats to public safety and national security, which has resulted in a substantial increase in the arrest of convicted criminal aliens. However, when we encounter others who are in the country unlawfully, we will execute our sworn duty and enforce the law.”

Advocacy groups are concerned about the shift. “ICE’s celebratory announcement that it arrested more people than last year misrepresents the true workings of Trump’s deportation force,” Chris Rickerd, a policy counsel at the ACLU told NBC News. “Fewer than 10 percent of criminal arrests were because of violent crimes, so ICE isn’t prioritizing its operations. Six thousand more immigrants without criminal records were arrested this year—their suffering families and separated children are casualties of Trump’s mass deportation agenda.”

The report does not detail how many minors have been arrested or how many parents have been taken away from their children. Read the report here.