The Trump administration may be arresting more illegal immigrants — but is deporting them at a slower rate than the Obama administration did.
According to the most recent data provided to the Washington Examiner, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement made roughly 75,000 administration arrests of illegal immigrants from January to June 2017 — a near 40 percent uptick from the same period last year.
An administrative arrest is not criminal in nature, but rather an arrest for an immigration violation.
Of those administrative arrests, ICE said roughly 55,300 were criminals — or 74 percent of the total.
Data shows that under former President Barack Obama, during the first half of 2016, of the roughly 55,000 administrative arrests made, 85 percent — or 47,000 — were criminal.
ICE "continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy," Matthew Bourke, a spokesperson for ICE told the Washington Examiner.
However, despite the jump in arrests, there has been a decline in actual deportations.
For the first six months of 2017, the Trump administration deported roughly 121,000 illegal immigrants, of which roughly 77,000, or more than half, were criminal.
The Obama administration deported 121,000 illegal immigrants during the same period in 2016, of which more than half were criminal — meaning another half were non-criminal.
"[A]ll those listed in the ‘non-criminal' category have violated the immigration laws of the United States. Additionally, many of them have a criminal charge that has not/will not result in a criminal conviction. Some of these individuals were considered immigration fugitives from ICE, and some have been previously removed from the U.S.," an ICE official told the Washington Examiner.
The official said a small percentage of those arrested had no criminal charges or convictions, were not ICE fugitives, and had not been previously deported — "but still violated U.S. immigration law and were arrested and/or removed as a result of that."
President Trump promised stronger immigration policies during his campaign and has made good on those promises during his first six months in office.
The Justice Department announced earlier this week that immigration courts ordered roughly 57,000 people to leave the United States from February to July — a 31 percent increase over last year.