On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that arrests of immigrants with no criminal record more than doubled from a year ago. Here’s a link to the story: http://wapo.st/2opFTf3
While the numbers are up a bit from last year, take a closer look at the graph in the article showing arrests for the last 4 years. It was highest in 2014, under Obama, and it’s important to note that 2014 had less removals than any of the 6 years prior.
You can see total removal numbers from 2008 – 2016 here: https://www.ice.gov/removal-statistics/2016.
So, the numbers are up, as is the stated mission of ICE, but the numbers are still below what they have been in the recent past. As the article points out, “advocates for immigrants say they also criticized Obama as the ‘deporter in chief’ and waged a national campaign to create sanctuary cities to shield immigrants from deportation.” Count me among them.
Here’s the problem though: perception is reality. I’m constantly consulting with people who want to fix their status but are now scared to do so. They technically qualify for certain programs but don’t want to risk revealing their whereabouts and providing their fingerprints for fear of being snatched up in the middle of the night.
There are also people under subpoena by local District Attorneys who don’t want to get involved for fear of being detained if they show up in court. Fundamentally, local police agencies can’t convict people without witnesses willing to come forward, and undocumented victims of crime are less likely to report they’ve been victimized if they’re scared to come to court. The article in question states: “A spokeswoman for ICE said her agency “remains sensitive” to victims and witnesses and helps them obtain visas or stays of deportation in some cases. But she said anyone in the United States illegally could be deported.”
ICE is making no apologies for its aggressive stance, which is undoing what little progress has been made over the years by local police.