Fiscal Year 2017 numbers from the Department of Homeland Security show enforcement activity over 12 months in terms of immigrant border apprehensions and interior removals.
During the fiscal year, both U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apprehension, arrest and removal numbers all show double-digit percentage changes from the previous year.
Successes DHS cites in FY 2017 include border security efforts, reducing illegal cross-border migration and increasing interior enforcement. DHS officials attribute these benefits to President Trump’s approach to border security and immigration enforcement policies.
“We have clearly seen the successful results of the President’s commitment to supporting the frontline officers and agents of DHS as they enforce the law and secure our borders,” Acting Secretary Elaine Duke commented on the numbers.
Where border apprehensions are concerned, CBP officials saw a decline in apprehensions of almost 30 percent, something Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello describes as “historic low numbers.” In terms of real numbers, the agency reported 310,531 apprehensions on a nationwide level. However, the majority of these apprehensions– 304,000 were along the Southwest border, “underscoring the need for a physical barrier at the border,” according to the release. Additionally, 210,000 inadmissible cases by CBP officers represent a nearly 24 percent decline over the previous year.
ICE Enforcement Removal and Operations (ERO,) which operates as a division of ICE, increased arrests by 40 percent in FY 2017 compared to arrests made in FY 2016. In the same period, removals resulting from ICE arrests increased by 37 percent. Much of the increase, the release notes, has occurred just since President Trump was sworn into office On Jan. 20, 2017. Of the ERO arrests made in FY 2017, ERO temporally places 111,000 of them during the Trump Administration.
In total, ICE removed 226,000 individuals in FY 2017. The number represents 6 percent fewer total removals compared to FY 2016 when removals affected 240,000 individuals, something officials attribute to the decline in border apprehensions.
ICE statistics also reflect a removal rate of 92 percent– 102,000– for foreign nationals whom agency officials administratively arrested between January 20 and the end of FY 2017. ICE describes these individuals as those with a criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge, an ICE fugitive or someone who reenters illegally.
“While 2017 marked a successful year in border security efforts,” according to DHS, “multiple challenges still remain in providing immigration officials with the tools needed to keep criminals off the streets.” Another high-priority consideration includes eliminating pull factors that draw undocumented immigrants to the United States. The Trump Administration’s immigration policies “address these challenges by enhancing border security, implementing a merit-based immigration system, and closing loopholes that encourage illegal immigration.”