Immigrant arrests soar under Trump, fewer deported

Immigrant arrests soar under Trump, fewer deported”

US immigration arrests increased almost 40 percent in early 2017 as newly emboldened agents under President Donald Trump detained more than 40,000 people suspected of being in the country illegally - with a renewed focus on immigrants without criminal convictions.

As reported by the ICE, from January 22 - two days after the start of Donald Trump´s Administration- through April 29, there were a total of 41,138 immigration arrests, while in the same period past year the figure was 30,000.

Even so, deportations were down from late January to late April compared with a year ago despite the new president's stepped up immigration enforcement pledge.

The data shows that in 2017, between 22 January and 29 April, Ice agents arrested 41,318 individuals, compared with 30,028 in nearly the identical time period in 2016. Trump also allowed ICE agents to focus on undocumented immigrants who they deem to be a "risk to public safety or national security".

The March 9 arrest in DeKalb, Georgia, of Jose Mercedes Meza-Ignacio, 52, a citizen of Mexico residing in Atlanta, wanted on criminal charges for child molestation.

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"These arrests rarely seem to be in the interest of public safety, but rather are tearing apart families, hurting small businesses, and heightening fears in communities that have previously thrived due to their immigrant populations", she said. The backlog in US immigrations courts caused a 12 percent decrease in the number of deportations, according to ICE. Mexican authorities allege that Molina shot and killed Jorge Alejandro De La Rosa at a wedding in 2008.

The agency said close to three-fourths of those arrested nationwide had some kind of criminal conviction.

The April 26 arrest in Houston, Texas, of William Magana-Contreras, a Salvadoran MS-13 gang member wanted for aggravated homicide in his home country.

"When a federal judge makes a decision and issues an order that order needs to mean something".

That means the vast majority - 91 percent - of the arrests of immigrants with criminal histories - more than 27,700 people arrested over three months - had only a non-violent offense on their records, which could include offenses like simple drug possession, driving without a license, and entering the USA illegally. ICE acting director Tom Homan told reporters the agency is still prioritizing those cases, but added that agents are going to pick up others they encounter and people with removal orders ― and that they resent being vilified for that. "If we don't take action on those orders, then we're just spinning our wheels, aren't we?"

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