From [HERE] The Trump administration significantly stepped up its arrests and deportations of undocumented immigrants last year, according to government data released last Friday, even as other parts of the president’s hard-line immigration agenda have been blocked by Congress and courts.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it arrested about 159,000 foreigners during the 2018 fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, an increase of 11 percent from the previous year.
About 90 percent of the people arrested had criminal convictions, were facing pending criminal charges or had been previously issued a final deportation order by an immigration judge.
Officials said they also deported 256,085 people last year, a 13 percent increase from fiscal year 2017.
That included 5,914 undocumented immigrants, 5,872 known or suspected gang members and 42 suspected terrorists, the agency’s data show.
On Friday, agency officials called the increases a result of an executive order by President Trump to rescind an earlier policy that prioritized the arrests and deportations of foreigners who had criminal records, or those who posed a threat to public safety.
The new policy, which Mr. Trump signed in early 2017, is not selective about which illegal immigrants should be arrested or deported first.
Critics said the stepped up enforcement has led to the arrest of undocumented immigrants for minor violations, or who pose no security threat.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been widely criticized for arresting parents as they dropped off children at school and for raiding businesses, including a nationwide sweep of 7-Eleven stores that resulted in charges against fewer than two dozen. Some Democrats have called for the agency to be abolished.