Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have arrested more suspected undocumented immigrants during the first months of the Trump administration than during a similar time frame in 2016. There is also an increase in arrest rates among suspected undocumented immigrants with no criminal history.
According to the data released by the ICE, in 2017, between January 22 and April 29, ICE agents arrested 41,318 individuals, compared with 30,028 in almost identical time period in 2016. The number of those arrested with no criminal history has more than doubled so far in 2017, from 4,200 between January 24 and April 30 in 2016 to over 10,800 this year.
Nevertheless, the total number of arrests in this 98-day time frame in 2017 is below the total arrests under the Obama administration before the PEP, also known as the Priority Enforcement Program, was introduced. The PEP was implemented in 2014, and instructed ICE agents to target undocumented migrants with serious criminal history for arrest.
If arrests were to increase at the same rate throughout 2017, over 150,000 suspects, with 26% of those having no criminal history, would be arrested at the end of 2017. This would be half the total in 2011 when ICE arrested 288,392 suspects with 42% of those having no criminal history under the Obama administration.
Our Verdict: the rise in number of arrests among those with no criminal conviction history is likely a consequence of Trump’s executive order, issued in January, which expanded ICE agents’ powers.