Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is no longer “shielding” non-felon aliens who are present in the US illegally, and arrests among that group have doubled since President Trump took office, according to a Washington Post report:
“[Illegal Alien] arrests rose 32.6 percent in the first weeks of the Trump administration, with newly empowered federal agents intensifying their pursuit of not just [aliens] with criminal records, but also thousands of illegal [aliens] who have been otherwise law-abiding.”
“[ICE] arrested 21,362 [illegal aliens], mostly convicted criminals, from January through mid-March, compared to 16,104 during the same period last year,” according to statistics obtained by the Post.
In what may be the first clear sign that President Trump means to break with the policies of his predecessor, ICE spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea, said in a statement “anyone in the United States illegally could be deported.”
Elzea’s statement went on to say that while ICE “focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security…[Homeland Security] Secretary [John] Kelly has made clear, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.”
There were 5,441 arrests of non-criminal aliens, more than double the total from last year, according to Fox News’ Adam Housley, who reported Monday that “ICE detainers—requests to local authorities to hold criminal aliens—are up 75 percent, to more than 22,000.”
On NBC’s “Meet the Press” this past Sunday, Kelly made it clear that the definition of “criminal” has not changed, “but where on the spectrum of criminality we operate has changed.”
In Housely’s report, Kelly said ICE agents may move to deport an individual with multiple DUI offenses—even though in the past, those individuals would have been “unlikely” to be deported.
“The law deports people. Secretary Kelly doesn’t. ICE doesn’t. It’s the United States criminal justice system that deports people,” Kelly said.
Even though Trump’s arrest and deportation statistics haven’t surpassed Obama’s according to The Week, “It’s the tactics Trump’s ICE agents use — arresting [illegal] immigrants in state and local courthouses and on the way to work, as well as apparently targeting immigrant advocates who speak out — that has struck terror into [illegal] immigrant communities.”
The threat of enforcement has reportedly resulted in fewer crimes being reported in some communities heavily populated by illegal aliens. Whether or not that’s because the threat of enforcement has led potential criminals to lay low—or potential victims from reporting crime—remains to be seen.
It’s worthy to note that almost every media source that covered this story made reference to how the “vast majority” of the 11 million illegal aliens in the US who are not felons, are “otherwise law-abiding.” There are two problems with that narrative. First, the 11 million number has been quoted by media sources since 2005—even though a source is never quoted. The number could be substantially more. Best-selling author Ann Coulter suggest the number of illegal aliens in the United States could be as high as 30 million.
Secondly, there are countless examples of ordinary illegal aliens, whose first crime resulted in the tragic murder of a person who would otherwise be alive—had the law been enforced and unlawful aliens removed.