Trump’s Immigration Police Have Already Arrested 41,000 Undocumented Immigrants

Roughly a quarter of them had no criminal convictions.

Charles Reed/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed Wednesday morning what many immigrants already knew: President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown has resulted in a surge of arrests. In a splashy statement, ICE said its agents arrested more than 41,000 people in the 100 days since Trump signed his executive orders on immigration—a spike of nearly 40 percent when compared to the same period last year. “These statistics reflect President Trump’s commitment to enforce our immigration laws fairly and across the board,” the statement reads.

The ICE statement reported that the majority were “convicted criminals, with offenses ranging from homicide and assault to sexual abuse and drug-related charges,” listing anecdotes of immigrants who had committed violent crimes. But it also notes that roughly 11,000 of the immigrants arrested had no criminal convictions—up from about 4,200 at this time a year ago. (The Washington Post reported late last month that half of those apprehended so far during Trump’s presidency had no criminal record or were convicted only of traffic violations.)

During his presidency, Barack Obama was heavily criticized for deporting large numbers of immigrants without criminal records who were apprehended along the US-Mexico border, including thousands of women and children fleeing gang violence in Central America. The latest ICE stats have advocates particularly worried that arrests are increasingly happening away from the border, in the country’s interior—and, as Human Rights Watch senior researcher Grace Meng tweeted, “interior arrests means lots more families being torn apart.”
 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest