By Rachel Estabrook, Colorado Public Radio, AP
Significantly more immigrants were arrested and deported from Colorado and Wyoming in the first few months of Donald Trump’s presidency than during the same period in 2016.
The biggest surge was in arrests of immigrants suspected of residing illegally in the country without a criminal record.
One hundred thirty-four individuals were detained between President Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20 and the end of his first 100 days in office, April 29.
That figure is more than four times the number a year ago, when 28 non-criminal immigrants were arrested.
Arrests of immigrants suspected of residing illegally in the country with criminal histories were up just slightly, from 678 in 2017 compared with 642 in the same period last year.
One of those arrests included one of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s “most wanted” fugitives: an Aurora man convicted of sexual assault and other felonies.
Deportations more than doubled for both criminals and non-criminals in Colorado and Wyoming, according to ICE.
ICE didn’t provide data by state but rather by an “area of responsibility” that encompasses Colorado and Wyoming.
The figures reflect national data ICE released to mark the first 100 days of the administration. President Trump has targeted more immigrants who simply come in contact with federal authorities, or who previously got a final deportation order but were allowed to stay under the Barack Obama administration.
In a news release, ICE acting director Thomas Homan said that “agents and officers have been given clear direction to focus on threats to public safety and national security, which has resulted in a substantial increase in the arrest of convicted criminal aliens.
“However, when we encounter others who are in the country unlawfully, we will execute our sworn duty and enforce the law,” Homan said.
According to ICE:
- Between Jan. 20 and April 29, 812 people were arrested, 678 with criminal histories and 134 without.
- For the same period in 2016, 670 people were arrested — 642 with criminal histories and 28 without.
- For the 2017 period, 793 people were deported — 494 with criminal histories, 299 without.
- For the same period in 2016, 323 people were deported — 202 with criminal histories, 121 without.