The number of arrests of suspected undocumented immigrants, has increased by almost 40 per cent since Donald Trump became the president.
Data issued by the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Thomas Homan, said arrests by his agency had increased to 41,318 between January 22 of this year and the end of April, up from 30,028 arrests in the same period last year.
Of those arrested almost two-thirds had criminal convictions, Reuters said. But there was also a significant jump - of more than 150 per cent - in the number of immigrants not convicted of further crimes arrested by ICE. This totaled 10,800 since the beginning of the year compared to 4,200 non-criminal arrests in the same period in 2016.
“Those that enter the country illegally, they do violate the law, that is a criminal act,” Mr Homan told reporters.
The increase is a direct result of new guidance given by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to implement Mr Trump's executive orders on interior immigration enforcement and border security signed on Jan. 25, just days after the New York tycoon took office.
“Those that enter the country illegally, they do violate the law, that is a criminal act,” said Mr Homan.
“When a federal judge makes a decision and issues an order that order needs to mean something. If we don't take action on those orders, then we are just spinning our wheels.”
During the election campaign, Mr Trump repeatedly vowed to crack down on illegal immigration and take a tougher stance then his predecessor, even though Barack Obama was frequently nicknamed the “deporter-in-chief” by migrant rights activists.
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