More than twice as many immigrants were deported from Colorado and Wyoming in fiscal year 2017 compared to the previous year. In addition, federal immigration officials arrested 20 percent more people in those two states over the same time period.
The federal fiscal year ended September 30, so it included the last three and a half months of the Obama presidency. Yet, the increases can almost certainly be attributed to the election of President Donald Trump, who took office in January and has greatly expanded the mandate for immigration officials to arrest and remove people in the U.S. illegally.
Nationwide, Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it arrested 40 percent more people under the Trump administration than in the prior year under Obama. And proportionately, Trump has focused slightly less on immigrants with criminal convictions. Statistics released by ICE show 74 percent of immigrants the agency arrested in fiscal year 2017 were convicted criminals, compared to 86 and 85 percent in the previous two fiscal years. Traffic offenses and DUIs are the most common offenses among immigrants arrested in the last fiscal year.
The Trump administration is also putting a higher emphasis on arresting and deporting immigrants who live far from the U.S.-Mexico border. ICE says there has been a significant decrease in arrests of immigrants crossing the border, but that has been largely offset by arrests and deportations from the interior of the country.
ICE Spokesman Carl Rusnok wrote in a statement, “The executive orders issued by President Trump in January 2017 strongly emphasized the role of interior enforcement in protecting national security and public safety, and upholding the rule of law. By making clear that no category of removable aliens would be exempt from enforcement, the directives also expanded enforcement priorities for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
|Fiscal Year||Percentage of Arrests: Convicted Criminals||Percentage of Deportations: Convicted Criminals|
|2015||85 %||59 %|
|2016||86 %||58 %|
|2017||74 %||56 %|
Arrests and deportations had started to go down in the last few years of Barack Obama’s presidency, but he did deport more people than any previous president.
ICE tracks enforcement for Colorado and Wyoming as one “area of responsibility,” and therefore the statistics are not available for the two states individually.