(ESPAÑOL) Although arrests of suspected illegal immigrants have shot up this year, deportations are in decline.
Overall, 41,300 people were arrested for deportation in early 2017, a 38 percent increase from a comparable period last year. Nearly 11,000 had no criminal convictions, more than double the number of immigrants without criminal convictions arrested during a comparable period last year.
Even so, deportations were down from late January to late April compared with a year ago despite the new president’s stepped up immigration enforcement pledge.
The increase in arrests of people without criminal convictions has generated outrage across the U.S. from Trump opponents who believe otherwise law-abiding families are being rounded up.
The report was made public as the Trump administration seeks to promote its accomplishments despite a growing scandal over the firing of the FBI director and the sharing of intelligence with Russian officials.
The president “puts this out to distract from the real affairs of our country,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles. “It is unfortunate that he basically is using the pain and destroying our families as a way by which to give red meat to his base.”
Some highlights in the numbers:
— 41,300 immigrants were arrested on suspicion of being in the country illegally between Jan. 22 and Apr. 29, up from 30,000 from Jan. 24 to April 30.
— 30,500 of those arrested had criminal convictions, compared to 25,800 for the earlier period.
— 10,800 did not have criminal convictions, compared to 4,200 in the previous period.
Immigration enforcement operations have generated headlines nationwide since Trump signed executive orders on immigration on Jan. 25. Many of them targeted violent offenders with felony records on crimes ranging from assault to murder.
Immigration arrests doubled in the Miami and Dallas metro areas. They rose 5 percent in and around Los Angeles and dropped slightly in the San Francisco area.