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Trump Administration Touts Border Arrests as Proof of Crackdown on Illegal Immigration

06 December 2017, 09:40 | Taylor George

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

The U.S. government deported fewer illegal immigrants in 2017 than it did past year, even as it arrested far more people suspected of being in the United States illegally, according to Department of Homeland Security statistics released on Tuesday.

A top immigration official says people living in the country illegally have good reason to be anxious about getting deported under President Donald Trump.

ICE deported almost 226,000 people from the United States in the 2017 fiscal year by the end of September, which is 6 percent less than the previous year.

During the 2015 fiscal year, ICE arrested 2,351 people in Colorado and Wyoming and removed 1,156 people.

Thomas Homan, deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, spoke Tuesday in Washington as the federal government announced that Border Patrol arrests plunged to a 45-year-low in the last fiscal year while arrests by deportation officers soared. Unions representing workers from both agencies endorsed Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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"The Trump administration has been unapologetic about its war on immigrant families and a deeply problematic enforcement agency at ICE has been only too happy to carry out orders meant to de-diversify this country".

"Every person we arrest we know exactly who we're going to arrest and where we're going to arrest them", he said.

But, ICE arrests between January and September rose by a staggering 42 percent compared to the previous year, with the agency putting almost 111,000 people behind the bars. In this year alone, there has been a 92 percent jump in arrests of criminal illegal immigrants and an 83 percent surge in MS-13 arrests.

"If you're in this country illegally and you enter this country illegally, which is a crime within itself - let's remember that - and yet you commit a crime against a citizen of this country, you are a priority for arrest", said Homan.

Trump administration officials said despite the lower numbers of people arrested at the border, Trump's proposed wall along the U.S. -Mexico border is still needed. "We want that barrier to have a safer and more secure environment".



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