President Trump’s deportation team has made good on its promise to arrest illegal immigrants far from the border, mostly in big cities, and send them home — especially gangbangers and criminals.
A new report released Tuesday said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has increased arrests by 40 percent and deportations by nearly as much, 37 percent.
More importantly, the arrests of MS-13 gang members surged 83 percent and captures of illegals with criminal records surged 92 percent.
In fact, the numbers are so huge that the Department of Homeland Security report on overall year-end immigration numbers highlighted the achievements of ICE, under new management since Trump arrived in Washington.
“The most significant changes in immigration enforcement strategy can be found in the interior of the United States. The executive orders issued by President Trump in January 2017 strongly emphasized the role of interior enforcement in protecting national security and public safety, and upholding the rule of law,” said the report.
ICE has seen a radical change in direction since Trump named the agency’s former enforcement chief as acting director. Thomas D. Homan was also recently nominated to become the full time director.
In a hearing this summer, he laid down the law when he said that ICE would no longer look the other way or respect protections offered criminal illegals in so-called “sanctuary cities.”
Homan said, “If you are in this country illegally, and you committed a crime by entering this country, you should be uncomfortable, you should should look over your shoulder, and you need to be worried.”
Homan has now turned to helping Trump win approval for greater immigration enforcement, especially the hiring of more border and ICE agents as well as building a border wall.
He has made good on that pledge, according to the new report on the last fiscal year, which ended in October:
- ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) conducted 143,470 arrests and 226,119 removals.
- From the start of the Trump administration on Jan. 20, 2017 through the end of the fiscal year, ERO made 110,568 arrests compared to 77,806 in FY2016 - an increase of 40 percent.
- During the same timeframe, removals that resulted from an ICE arrest increased by 37 percent.
- ICE continued to prioritize its resources to enhance public safety and border security, which is 92 percent (101,722) of aliens ICE administratively arrested between Jan. 20, 2017 and the end of FY2017, were removable aliens who had a criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge, were an ICE fugitive, or were an illegal re-entrant.
- ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested 796 MS-13 gang members and associates, compared to 434 in FY2016 – an 83 percent increase.
- Overall, HSI made 4,818 criminal arrests related to gang activity and 892 administrative arrests as a result of gang investigations. Additionally, ERO administratively arrested 5,225 gang members and associates.
The new numbers won praise from anti-illegal immigration advocates. Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, said:
The immigration enforcement numbers released today by the Trump administration show very good progress in restoring the integrity of our immigration system and reversing the disastrous policies of the previous administration. In particular, I am encouraged to see a 25 percent increase in interior removals, which had plunged to a 10-year low last year, and an increase in enforcement directed at criminals and fugitives – and particularly gang members. These numbers are especially commendable considering the festering problem of sanctuaries who are obstructing ICE for political reasons, at serious cost to public safety. The main area of concern is the continued sizeable illegal influx of youths and families over the southern border, which is causing big problems for the communities where they are resettled, and will remain an enforcement headache for ICE for years to come.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org