The narrative about more people being deported under Trump’s administration seems to be different from what the new data Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is showing. According to a July 17 report by ICE, the number of deportations dropped in June, lower than previous months.
However, the report does show that immigration arrests have increased under Trump’s administration.
USA Today was one of the first outlets to report on the latest ICE data but did not publish the actual ICE numbers. Latino Rebels contacted ICE for the latest numbers, and ICE shared the data.
Based on the report, there were 14,283 removals in June, 2,285 deportations less than May. The highest number of deportations under Trump’s administration was registered in March with 19,921 removals.
The March 2017 number is still less than the number of deportations registered in the last three months of Obama’s presidency. According to the report, there were 23,698 deportations in October, 23,464 in November and 20,952 in December of last year.
The reason the number of deportations is dropping is not because Mr. Trump has changed his mind on immigration. It is actually a phenomenon many experts were expecting. There are so many immigration arrest cases that federal courts are having trouble handling them all.
From April to June, the number of arrests increased to 13,914 from 12,363. The highest number of arrests was also registered in March with 14,083.
These numbers are significantly higher than the number of arrests that happened during the last three months of President Obama.
There were 9,395 arrests in October, 9,013 in November and 8,993 in December of last year.
According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a data gathering organization at Syracuse University, there are 610,000 pending cases all around the U.S.
The Department of Justice is looking to hire more immigration federal judges to solve the backlog happening in courts and “will add 50 more to the bench this year and 75 next year. He [Attorney General Jeff Sessions] also highlighted the Department’s plan to streamline its hiring of judges, reflecting the dire need to reduce the backlogs in our immigration courts,” a DOJ April press release said.
This is not the only reason why there has been an accumulation of immigration cases in the courts.
According to the USA Today article, the Trump’s administration has made reforms to the Obama’s policy that allowed “undocumented immigrants to be free on bond as they await their court hearings.”
María Camila Montañez is a journalism student at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism’s Spanish-language program. She is originally from Colombia and tweets from @mariacmontanez.
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