In the 100 days since President Trump signed an executive order to enhance immigration enforcement, the arrests of undocumented immigrants is up 38% from the same time period in 2016, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data released Wednesday.
ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said his agency is focusing on undocumented immigrants with criminal records, the "bad hombres" that Trump spoke about throughout his presidential campaign. But the data show that the biggest jump in arrests involved undocumented immigrants without a criminal record, a 156% increase from last year.
Between Jan. 22 and April 29, ICE arrested 10,845 people whose immigration violations were the only marks on their record. That's nearly triple the 4,242 people arrested during the same time period in President Barack Obama's final year in office.
Of all the people arrested by ICE this year, nearly 75% had a criminal record. In Obama's final year in office, 92% of people arrested by ICE in the country had a criminal record.
"I get asked a lot why we arrest somebody that’s not a criminal," Homan said. "Those who do enter the country illegally, they do violate the law, that is a criminal act."
ICE did see a drop in one area: deportations.
Homan said the agency removed 56,315 people from the U.S. in that time period, a 12% drop from the same period in 2016. He said that was due to a backlog in immigration courts, the time-consuming nature of deportations of undocumented immigrants living in the country and a drop in people caught crossing the southwest border, which often leads to quick deportations.
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