President Trump’s immigration policies are having their intended effect.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested more than 41,000 illegal immigrants through the first three months of Trump’s presidency, and nearly 75 percent of them — or 30,000 — are convicted criminals, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The Department’s website features “100 Days of ICE,” which chronicles the increased immigration enforcement under Executive Orders signed by President Trump shortly after inauguration.
Between Jan. 22 and April 29, ICE arrested 41,318 individuals on civil immigration charges, an overall increase of about 37 percent over 2016 figures.
Almost 75 percent of those arrested had previous convictions for crimes like homicide, assault, sexual abuse, and drug activities.
The arrest of aliens at-large in the community increased by more than 50 percent, from 8,381 last year to 12,766 arrests this year during the same period.
The arrest of convicted criminal aliens climbed nearly 20 percent, from 25,786 last year to 30,473 this year.
Violent crimes such as homicide, rape, kidnapping and assault accounted for more than 2,700 convictions.
“These statistics reflect President Trump’s commitment to enforce our immigration laws fairly and across the board. ICE agents and officers have been given clear direction to focus on threats to public safety and national security, which has resulted in a substantial increase in the arrest of convicted criminal aliens,” ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said.
The Department detailed arrests of a MS-13 gang member from El Salvador in New York City, a 52-year-old Mexican national in Atlanta wanted for child molestation charges, and an alleged murderer near Dallas.
ICE also nabbed a Salvadorian MS-13 gang member who is wanted for aggravated homicide in his home country, and one of the agency’s ‘Most Wanted Fugitives’ – a Honduran national near Denver with a history of violent crimes and previous deportations.
Homan said that while ICE is focused on criminals who are in the country illegally, the department now has an administration that supports its mission to enforce all immigration laws.
“ … When we encounter others who are in the country unlawfully, we will execute our sworn duty to enforce the law, As the data demonstrates, ICE continues to execute our mission professionally and in accordance with the law, and our communities will be much safer for it,” he said.
“All of those arrested will receive the due process afforded to them under the law. ICE will take action to remove individuals subject to a final order by a federal immigration judge. We are a nation of laws, and ignoring orders issued by federal judges undermines our constitutional government.”
Los Angeles ICE Director Dave Marin told Fox News that efforts by local law enforcement officials to thwart immigration enforcement seems to be having the opposite effect, and also leading to more arrests of non-criminal illegal immigrants.
The Los Angeles Police Commission, for example, is considering a plan to ignore petty crimes like loitering, graffiti and sleeping in cars to avoid arresting illegal immigrants and exposing them to legal detainers from ICE.
“Numerous law enforcement agencies have taken the step to not even honor detainers and that makes it extremely difficult for us,” Marin said. “They’re just letting these individuals, convicted criminal aliens, and they’re letting them out the door.”
Marin said the situation forces agents to hunt criminals down in public, rather than pick them up at the jail, which often leads to arrests of other illegal immigrants like spouses or relatives.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has defended the practice of shielding illegal immigrants for petty crimes as a means of gaining trust to catch criminal aliens.
“Many of the witnesses that allowed us to do this by their statements also have immigration issues,” Beck said at a recent press conference on dozens of MS-13 members arrested in the city. “You could say sanctuary policies make us successful (because) we get people to talk.”