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Immigration arrests increased, illegal border crossings fell in 2017: DHS



Arrests of undocumented immigrants increased and apprehensions along the southwest border were significantly reduced last year, according to the year-end figures released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

During fiscal year 2017, there were a total of 310,531 arrests by the United States Border Patrol throughout the country. That's the lowest he's been in at least 17 years.

Of those apprehensions, almost 98 percent were along the southwest border. The apprehensions are used as an indicator to measure illegal border crossings.

  PHOTO: An immigration detainee is located near a US immigration and customs complaint box. UU (ICE) in the high security unit of Theo Lacy Facility, March 14, 2017 in Orange, California.
Robin Beck / AFP / Getty Images
An immigration detainee is located near a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement complaint box. UU In the high security unit of Theo Lacy Facility, March 14, 2017 in Orange, California.

April 2017 was the month with the lowest recorded border compliance activity, according to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). UU., Which oversees the Border Patrol. Since the April minimum of 11,127 arrests on the southwest border, the numbers have gone up a bit.

In September, the Border Patrol detained 22,537 people attempting to cross the Southwest border illegally. The month of September, as well as the year-end total numbers were published today as part of the fiscal year's report.

Illegal immigration, particularly along the southwestern border, "drastically decreased" from January 21 to April, said CBP interim commissioner Ronald D. Vitiello during a press conference on Tuesday.

Who is crossing illegally?

CBP in May began to see an "inter-monthly increase in apprehensions and inadmissible cases along the southwest border, especially of children, either as part of a family unit or unaccompanied by their parents or legal guardians," he said. Vitiello.

At the end of the fiscal year, the Border Patrol detained 75,622 family members and 41,435 children.

"We remain concerned about the steady increase in the flow of unaccompanied children and family units in Central America," said Vitiello.

During 2017, approximately 58 percent of the apprehensions were of people from countries other than Mexico, mainly from Central America. That's a 54 percent increase last year, according to CBP.

  PHOTO: A Border Patrol of National Security oversees the border area where prototypes of the border wall proposed by President Trumps are located, on November 1, 2017 in San Diego, California. Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images [19659006] A national security border patrol vehicle oversees the border area where border wall prototypes proposed by President Trump are located on November 1, 2017 in San Diego , California.

Trump's immigration policies

Border security and compliance with the law of illegal immigration have been pillars of Donald Trump's presidency since he took office in January.

On January 25, Trump signed an executive order that expanded the enforcement policies of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Act and ordered the department to no longer exempt any class of undocumented immigrants.

In practice, this has meant more arrests and more room for maneuver for agents in the field.

Critics have accused the Trump administration of carrying out heartless policies toward immigrants.

"All those who are not white are attacked by this administration," said Ambar Pinto, the Director of the Deportation Hotline at United We Dream.

She said that under the Trump administration, people in the immigrant community are silently disappearing and are being confronted by ICE in their most vulnerable places.

"Our community is afraid, because they hear about people being detained and deported," he said.

Detention Watch Network's policy director, Mary Small, said the administration has tricked the public and has withheld information about its immigration application.

"This year, we have seen the rise of a deportation machine already out of control," he said in a statement in response to the year-end numbers. "We have witnessed ICE and CBP lying regularly, actively hiding information from the public, and retaliating against anyone who expresses themselves." Despite this, Trump is looking to increase the budget of each agency. an abusive and deadly immigration enforcement system. "

Thomas Homan, deputy director of ICE and senior official who plays the director, defended the president, saying that his policies have led to a minimum of 45 years at border crossings.

"It's not a coincidence, it's based on this president and his belief in letting the men and women of ICE and the Border Patrol do their job," Homan said.

  PHOTO: Roy Villarreal, Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent, San Diego Sector, on the left, talks to other Border Patrol agents in front of secondary fences along the border that separates San Diego from Tijuana , Mexico, September 26. 2017, in San Diego. Gregory Bull / AP
Roy Villarreal, Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent, San Diego Sector, on the left, talks with other Border Patrol agents in front of secondary fences along the border that separates San Diego from Tijuana, Mexico, September 26, 2017, in San Diego.

Arrest of ICE

In fiscal year 2017, ICE arrested 143,470 people for violations of the immigration law, the largest number of such arrests in the last three years.

There were 30 percent more arrests related to immigration in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to the ICE end-of-year report.

"If you choose to violate the laws of this country, you must worry," Homan said at today's press conference.

Criminal vs. not criminal

The arrests of criminals increased 12 percent over the previous year. ICE immigration officers arrested 105,736 criminal aliens in fiscal year 2017, compared with 10,985 in 2016.

However, non-criminal arrests have increased at a faster rate, which increased more than fifty percent compared to last year.

According to ICE, non-criminal arrests have increased because, under the previous administration, agents in general were prevented from making such arrests.

There is a delay that is being eliminated, including people who have received a final order or the dismissal of an immigration judge, according to ICE officials.

  PHOTO: Cars that have just crossed into the United States from Mexico expect to speak with a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official. UU At the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California, USA. UU., Friday, June 7. 2013. Sam Hodgson / Bloomberg via Getty Images
Cars that have just crossed into the United States from Mexico expect to speak with a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the Port of Entry of the United States. Otay Mesa in San Diego, California, USA US, On Friday, June 7, 2013.

Detention targets

Immigration advocates have expressed concern that ICE's new policies have led to indiscriminate arrests and attacks on communities.

Almost eight percent of the people arrested by ICE were unknown to the agency before their arrest, which means they had no previous contact with the criminal or immigration system, but nevertheless they contacted officials of immigration.

The comparison with last year was not immediately known.

  PHOTO: An officer of the US Border Patrol UU It is located near the prototypes of the border wall proposed by US President Donald Trumps, on November 1, 2017, in San Diego, California.
Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images
An officer of the US Border Patrol. UU It is close to prototypes of the border wall proposed by US President Donald Trump, on November 1, 2017, in San Diego, California.

Sanctuary cities

Homan used today's announcement to protest against the so-called sanctuary cities, municipalities that somehow refuse to cooperate with ICE, saying they attract more illegal immigration.

"More people are going to die coming to this country trying to reach the sanctuary cities," Homan said in a call with reporters Tuesday afternoon.

"It's not just about enforcing the law, it's about saving lives."

Pinto retracted Homan's narrative, saying that while fewer people die during attempts to illegally enter the US. UU., The people in change are dying in their countries of origin.

"People do not come to the United States to go on vacation," he said. "My family came here because they needed to survive"

  PHOTOGRAPHY: Students from the US Border Patrol UU They participate in a weapons training class at the US Border Patrol Academy. UU On August 3, 2017 in Artesia, New Mexico. John Moore / Getty Images
U.S. Border Patrol apprentices participate in a weapons training class at the US Border Patrol Academy. UU On August 3, 2017 in Artesia, New Mexico.

Deportations

ICE's total deportations, known as removals, were reduced by 6 percent compared to last year, but ICE attributed it to the considerably smaller number of illegal border crossings.

In recent years, extractions were the main measure of how well ICE was doing, but during the past year, the agency has also provided more context on the arrest figures.

The future of ICE

Looking to the future, Homan said, the public can expect more application from the workforce, as well as research on people who remain in the United States after their visas expire.

"We are going to reassure employers," he said. "It's about removing that magnet."


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