A newly released study blows a hole in immigrant-rights activists’ claims that illegal immigrants are being arbitrarily arrested under the Trump administration.
An analysis of Immigration and Customs Enforcement records from the Pew Research Center found that nearly 90 percent of all illegal immigrants apprehended last year carried some sort of criminal background.
In the report, titled “Most immigrants arrested by ICE have prior criminal convictions, a big change from 2009,” Pew found that around 90 percent of all illegals arrested by ICE were either wanted on criminal charges or had previous criminal convictions.
Just over 10 percent of those apprehended carried no criminal background whatsoever, which is inherently a controversial suggestion, as many immigration hardliners argue that entering and residing in the U.S. illegally is a criminal act in and of itself.
“Immigrants with past criminal convictions accounted for 74 percent of all arrests made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in fiscal 2017, according to data from the agency,” the study read.
“The remainder were classified as ‘non-criminal’ arrestees, including 16 percent with pending criminal charges and 11 percent with no known criminal convictions or charges.”
In another striking find, the study concluded that a much lower percentage of illegal immigrants with no criminal background are currently being apprehended compared to rates under the previous administration.
A much higher percentage of illegal aliens with no criminal record were detained by ICE under former President Barack Obama’s tenure than under President Donald Trump’s watch.
“The profile of ICE arrestees has changed considerably in the past eight years: In fiscal 2009, the earliest year with comparable data, immigrants without past criminal convictions accounted for the majority (61 percent) of those arrested by the agency,” the study said.
The 61 percent of non-criminal illegals apprehended in 2009 is a far cry from the 11 percent arrested in Trump’s first year in office. Additionally, 297,898 illegals were arrested 2009, a far higher number than the 143,470 in 2017.
However, the number of total arrests in 2017 was higher than the previous year, and reveals an uptick in apprehension since Trump signed an executive order to boost enforcement.
The numbers seem to contrast the narrative pushed by many mainstream media outlets, who have extensively reported on the arrests and deportations of otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants.
“A Michigan father, too old for DACA, is deported after three decades in the U.S.,” reads one Washington Post article published in January. “Being Deported From Home for the Holidays,” reads another somber New York Times report last year.
Countless stories perpetuate a narrative that Trump, in a ruthless crackdown on illegal immigration, is tearing apart families by deporting productive and honorable immigrants.
In contrast, the Pew study found that the Trump White House is acting on its long-sought goal: stemming the tide of gang and drug activity that comes with unchecked illegal immigration. Trump’s executive orders and legislative actions make criminal illegal aliens a priority, not otherwise law-abiding members of the community.
This facet of his immigration agenda was more greatly showcased upon the release of the administration’s immigration bill.
The proposal would provide a pathway to citizenship for around 1.8 million “Dreamers” and also calls for a $25 billion added investment in border security — including the construction of a wall on the U.S. southern border.
If enacted, the president’s bill would encompass a great number more of illegal immigrants than are currently protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era executive order that shields young illegal immigrants from deportation.
Trump has highlighted his immigration priorities in more personal terms.
Evelyn Rodriguez was a featured guest at Trump’s first State of the Union address. She is a mother from Long Island whose 16-year-old daughter was brutally killed by MS-13 gang members. Three of the four gang members charged in her death were found to be living in the country illegally.
The president has made clear he wants to prevent such horrific acts from happening again.
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