- Wikimedia Commons
Data shows that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (officers that arrest immigrants for deportation everywhere but along the border) made a total of 143,470 arrests in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2017. That's an increase of 25 percent from 114,434 a year earlier.
This is not the case in San Antonio area, however, where ICE arrests remained relatively the same between 2016 and 2017 — only growing about 1 percent from 8,425 to 8,510 arrests. Meanwhile, the Dallas region saw these arrests nearly double — increasing from 9,634 to 16,520 (41 percent) in the same time period. The Houston area saw a 4 percent increase in arrests.
The Border Patrol's total arrests (which take place solely along the U.S.-Mexico border) were 23 percent lower from the previous year — and at 310,531 arrests, is the lowest annual recording since 1971. However, the amount of families or unaccompanied children arrested on the border has greatly increased. The number of immigrants arrested who the feds label a "family unit" — a child, parent, or other guardian who enter the country together, as a family — spiked 38 percent along the U.S.-Mexico border in the past year. The majority of these families were fleeing growing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
"We are very concerned about the later month increases of unaccompanied minors and minors with a family member,” said Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello, deputy commissioner with the Department of Homeland Security, in Tuesday press release.
These changing numbers show that ICE agents are following President Donald Trump's repeat demands to crack down on deportation across the country. Vacancies within the Border Patrol — and a post-election chill on border-crossing among the immigrant community — may have contributed to the drop in border arrests.