United States immigration arrests increase

A protest march through downtown Dallas this month against what organisers say is an aggressive deportation policy

All told, the Post reports, there has been a 32.6% spike in ICE arrests compared to the first months of 2016.

More than 21,000 undocumented immigrants have been arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from January to mid March, Maria Sacchetti of the Washington Post reported.

Almost three-quarters of the immigrants arrested from January 20 to March 13 had criminal convictions, an increase of 15 per cent over the same period past year. The rate at which immigrants with some kind of criminal background were arrested rose only 15 percent, indicating that ICE has shifted its focus significantly to detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants who have never been convicted of a crime.

The first few months of Donald Trump's presidency have seen a dramatic jump in the number of arrests made by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency-an alarming confirmation of the administration's efforts to target undocumented immigrant communities. "‶However, as [Homeland Security] Secretary [John F.] Kelly has made clear, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement". That represents almost a 33 percent increase under Trump compared to former President Barack Obama.

Immigration arrests have risen 32.6 percent since previous year, when 16,104 people were arrested in the same time frame.

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The ICE field offices with the largest total number of arrests - more than 2,000 each - were in Dallas, which covers north Texas and Oklahoma; Atlanta, which includes Georgia and the Carolinas; and Houston, which spans Southeast Texas.

An ICE Spokeswoman said no illegal immigrant is safe from deportation.

The Trump administration also sought to deport more undocumented immigrants, although the overall number of deportations fell by 1.2 percent.

Adam Housley reported this morning that ICE detainers - requests to local authorities to hold criminal aliens - are up 75 percent, to more than 22,000.

Carlos A. Gimenez, Republican mayor of Florida's Miami-Dade, noted that there have been more immigration protests in the city under Trump than he saw under former President Barack Obama. In February, Trump's press secretary said the "shackles" were off immigration and border agents, whose unions backed Trump in the election.

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