According data obtained by The Washington Post about half of the 675 immigrants detained in enforcement actions in the United States during the first few weeks of Trump Presidency had no criminal convictions or had committed only traffic offenses. The arrests took place as part of a nationwide increase in enforcement actions referred to as “Operation Cross Check”, and only represent a small portion of the 21,362 immigrants taken into custody from January through mid-March by the new administration. Reports state that 5,441 of those arrested were not criminals, a figure which is double the number of undocumented immigrants arrested for deportation a year earlier.
The Washington Post article ntoted:
Records provided by congressional aides Friday offered the most detailed look yet at the backgrounds of the individuals rounded up and targeted for deportation in early February by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents assigned to regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York.
Two people had been convicted of homicide, 80 had been convicted of assault, and 57 had convictions for “dangerous drugs.” Many of the most serious criminals were given top billing in ICE news statements about the operation.
The largest single group — 163 immigrants convicted of traffic offenses — was mentioned only briefly. Over 90 percent of those cases involved drunken driving, ICE said Friday. Of those taken into custody in the raids, 177 had no criminal convictions at all, though 66 had charges pending, largely immigration or traffic offenses.
The two month total for enforcement actions is a 32% increase in immigration arrests over the same period as last year, raising continual concerns about the long term policy implications for the administration.