ICE arrests 27 people around West Michigan in 4 day operation

Andrew Cummings
December 9, 2017

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Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke credited Mr. Trump, who made fighting illegal immigration a cornerstone of his campaign and a top priority when he took office in January.

New data from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows that both removals and administrative arrests have increased in Northern California. The number of arrests of immigrants for civil violations increased by 30 percent, and the number of immigrants without criminal records arrested more than doubled. Trump has yet to get funding for the first installment of his proposed border wall with Mexico and the number of Border Patrol agents has declined as the government's struggles to fill vacancies continues under his presidency. "The Obama administration had a deliberate policy to restrict immigration enforcement to only the most egregious cases".

ICE said it targeted "public safety threats", including those who returned to the US after being deported.

The legal groups said the proliferation of arrests by ICE is deterring people from seeking redress in courts and harming lawyers' ability to zealously represent their clients.

The new numbers, which offer the most complete snapshot yet of immigration enforcement under Trump, show that Border Patrol arrests plunged to a 45-year low in the fiscal year that ended September 30, with far fewer people being apprehended between official border crossings.

"The directives that have come down from on high have told (ICE agents) to be much more aggressive in interior enforcement operations", he said.

"Those days are over", Homan told reporters about the administration's enforcement record.

"Operations like this one demonstrate ICE's continued focus on the arrest of unsafe criminal aliens as well as those who enter the United States illegally", said Rebecca Adducci, an ICE field office director based in Detroit. However, it's important to note that the four largest categories of criminality among those arrested were driving under the influence, "dangerous drugs", "immigration", and "traffic offenses". They showed how construction of the wall had pushed illegal entry into more remote, and often more risky, parts of the southern border. The maximum penalty for that charge is 20 years in prison.

The operation comes days after agency officials announced there has been a 40 percent spike in administrative arrests over the previous year.

Among those arrested in the West Michigan operation were a Mexican national who had a prior conviction for assault on a police officer.

A detainer is a request that ICE makes to law enforcement agencies, either asking the agency to notify ICE if a person subject to deportation is about to be released from criminal custody and to keep that person in custody.

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced its end-of-year immigration enforcement numbers.

In the full 2017 fiscal year, however, the percentage of people actually convicted of a crime was about 74 percent, meaning more than a quarter had no criminal conviction.

That's nearly 9 percent more than the 6,651 arrests in fiscal year 2016. They rose 37 percent since Trump's inauguration compared to the same period a year earlier.

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