Pew Research: ICE Arrests Up Dramatically Since President Trump Took Office



From 2011 to 2016, under the Obama administration, the number of arrests made by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) officers dropped significantly every year. Because of this, promises to increase interior enforcement operations became a central part of Donald Trump’s broader campaign promise to enforce our immigration laws. According to data from Pew Research, he is keeping that promise so far.

According to the report, ICE arrests plummeted from nearly 300,000 in 2009, to just over 110,000 in 2016 – a 63 percent decrease. They continued to drop in the first several months of Fiscal Year 2017.

This trend changed immediately after President Trump took office. In the final eight months of Fiscal Year 2017, ICE arrests rose 42 percent, resulting in an overall increase of 30 percent for the entire year. Arrests increases in every ICE sector in the country.

What this data shows is that President Trump is taking the handcuffs off immigration enforcement agents and allowing them to do their jobs. However, it remains critically important to complement enforcing our immigration laws with removing the incentives that encourage illegal immigration in the first place. A good place to start with this would be to enact common sense measures like mandatory E-Verify for employers and to begin punishing so-called “sanctuary cities.”

Unfortunately, instead of building upon this improvement in interior enforcement, congressional leaders are considering legislation that would offer an amnesty that rewards law-breakers who brought their children into the country illegally. Such behavior will only exacerbate the problem, making the jobs of immigration enforcement officers even harder and more dangerous, especially if they fail to couple any amnesty with serious immigration reforms that deter future illegal immigration.

About Author

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Spencer joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2015. He conducts research, and writes content for FAIR’s publications and website. He brings previous experience in state politics, gubernatorial and district campaigns, and D.C. political non-profits. Spencer holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

4 Comments

  1. avatar

    Columnist Mary Sanchez of the Kansas City Star is the typical immigration propagandist. Her latest: “High and low skilled workers are needed in the US. Our demographics require it.”

    No, they require the exact opposite. According to the US Census Bureau over 2/3 of graduates with a STEM degree are not working in their fields. We have seen countless examples of companies like Southern California Edison and Disney terminating American workers in favor of cheaper H1B workers. Those fired workers are typically unable to get a similar paying job. H1B visas are all about cheap wages, not skill.

    As far as low skilled you don’t even have to listen to the countless experts who say that a massive amount of low skilled jobs are going to be ended in the next couple decades. Just go to McDonalds and see the self order kiosks or grocery and hardware stores that have self checkout. Mass low skilled immigration is a boon to corporations while the taxpayers frequently end up paying for the social programs those companies don’t provide. In a time of out of control deficits more workers paying little or no taxes are not a plus.

  2. avatar

    My question is why wouldn’t all Americans get behind this? We are a country built by immigrants. However all immigrants must go through the process. Living in America is a privilege not a right for illegals. All immigrants must go through the legal process. We must secure our boarder, stop chain migration and end the immigration lottery.

  3. avatar

    We need to stop sanctuary city’s, build the wall and put an end to chain migration and the visa lottery!!! My ONE BIG CONCERN is what happens when the courts get involved? The courts seem to be able to stop anything President Trump tries to do when it comes to Sanctuary City’s and Illegal immigration!!! How do we solve that problem to enforce the LAW?!

  4. avatar

    We need to close sanctuary city’s and build the wall as well as stopping families from coming over because of one of the immigrants that are here. President Trump is correct in choosing immigrants not having an open spigot.

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