Arrests For Illegal Border Crossings Hit 46-Year Low

Arrests For Illegal Border Crossings Hit 46-Year Low

Arrests For Illegal Border Crossings Hit 46-Year Low

Homan said those cities make it harder for ICE to arrest hardened criminals.

The newly released data provides the most comprehensive look yet at how immigration enforcement is changing under the Trump administration.

Customs and Border Protection reported Tuesday that authorities have seen a dramatic increase in fentanyl because of USA demand as well as their ability to detect it. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Matthew Bourke said in a statement that the country's active crackdown and cheapness of the drug have contributed to the change.

One reason for the decrease in deportations was that fewer people appeared to be trying to cross US borders illegally.

That suggests significant success in cracking down on border crossers, they said.

Customs and Border Protection, the other key agency, which patrols the border, said it had apprehended 310,531 people trying to sneak in, almost all along the southern border.

Assaults on agents by undocumented immigrants have almost doubled, to a six-year high of 847 from 584 last year, while border arrests have declined 25 percent from last year's 415,816.

Trump campaigned as an immigration hard-liner, accusing Mexico of sending rapists and other criminals to the USA and promising to build "a great wall on our southern border".

South of the Arizona border in the Mexican town of Nogales, numerous deportees who were eating breakfast Monday at a dining room run by a nonprofit group had been picked up in the US far from the border. The arrests were of immigration fugitives or those who illegally re-entered the country.

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"We are always concerned when anyone in our community, including Border Patrol agents, are experiencing an increase in violence, but this information, however, doesn't mesh well with the patterns of migration that we've seen", Christian Ramirez, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, an immigration advocacy group, told Newsweek.

Homan said that, every time a wall barrier has been built, illegal crossings have decreased significantly. "What is the cost of national security and public safety?"

Overall, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said, deportations over the last year dropped about 6 percent from the previous year - a number tied to the sharp decline in border crossings as well as a backlog in the immigration courts that process deportations. Starting around 2011, large numbers from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras began entering the country in South Texas, which replaced Arizona as the busiest corridor for illegal crossings.

The amounts of fentanyl annually seized by USA border and immigration authorities are almost three and five times the amounts previously taken, according to new federal data.

Homan stressed that 92 percent of all ICE arrests this fiscal year were of those who had criminal convictions.

"We're still arresting almost 1,000 people a day coming across the border", said Ronald Vitiello, the CBP acting deputy commissioner.

The overwhelming majority of border arrests - 303,916 - happened along the south-western border.

CBP, which has faced allegations of excessive use of force, said its employees used firearms 17 times during the fiscal year, down from 27 the previous year and 58 in 2012. CBP said its employees were assaulted 847 times, up from 585 a year earlier and less than 600 each year going back to 2012.

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