The Trump administration has ordered the deportations of almost 50,000 people to date – an increase of almost 30 per cent from the same time last year, according to the US Department of Justice.
Statistics released by the Executive Office of Immigration Review show 49,983 immigrants were given orders of removal between 1 February and 31 July of this year. An “order of removal” refers to the final command by an immigration judge to remove of an undocumented immigrant from the country.
Experts have pointed out, however, that orders of removal are just that – orders – and do not always correspond with the number of successful removals.
A press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ) touted the increase in final orders as a “return to rule of law,” writing: “Return to rule of law in Trump administration marked by increase in key immigration statistics”.
The department credited the increase to Donald Trump’s executive order sending more than one hundred immigration judges to detention centres around the country to process cases. According to the press release, more than 90 per cent of these cases resulted in immigrants being forced to leave the country.
The increase in orders of removal could also be linked to a rise in detentions. Arrests of those suspected of being in the country illegally increased by almost 40 per cent in Mr Trump’s first 100 days, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported.
The Trump administration has also stepped up detentions of immigrants with no criminal record, Arrests of such immigrants more than doubled in the first three months of Mr Trump’s presidency, according to the Washington Post.
ICE has also announced they will crack down on family members of undocumented children detained at the border – a policy that could result in thousands of additional arrests.
In a speech to the National District Attorneys Association last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said his goal is "not to reduce illegal immigration — but to end illegal immigration".
"The people of this country have been pleading with their leaders for decades for a lawful system of immigration that serves our national interest and in which we can take pride," he said. "...With a major decline in illegal entry attempts, more personnel, and the wall, we have a real opportunity to fix this problem."
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