An announcement made by immigration officials revealed that scores of illegal immgrants were detained in a series of raid operations that were conducted across the nation. 367 were captured in one day.
The announcement of the arrests has been done throughout the week after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said they arrested 153 individuals in South Texas in an operation that lasted for 12-days.
The ICE unveiled a report on Tuesday indicating that 75 individuals were arrested in a three-day operation in North Texas. It also unveiled another report on Wednesday saying that 82 individuals were arrested over the course of five days in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
The New York City area saw 31 people arrested in three days while 26 people were detained in Colorado and Wyoming in a period of four days. The huge number can be attributed to ICE’s Fugitive Operations division which conducts raids on a daily basis. However, the operations that were announced last week involving multiple teams of agents go into a city simultaneously are rare.
Special emphasis was placed on arresting criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and immigration fugitives.
President Trump’s administration is conducting more raids more often. Some of the immigrants that have detained have also been charged with non-violent offenses. However, some were convicted of rape, sex trafficking, and child abuse.
Reports from the ICE indicated that 30 of the 31 individuals arrested in New York had some sort of criminal record. Twelve of them were detained for DUIs while four had drug possession related charges. One was charged with heroin possession; another four had fraud charges.
An ICE spokesperson known as Dani Bennett told Fusion that there’s a great difference between what Trump’s administration and its predecessor considers a public safety threat. People driving under the influence are considered by ICE to be a public safety threat and enforcement priority.
During Obama’s administration, individuals caught driving under the influence were considered to be a second-tier priority for deportation. The individuals who were considered a tier-one priority, such as people suspected of terrorism or espionage, gang members who were convicted of crimes were given the first priority when it came to deportation.
That is no longer the case with Trump’s administration. The Department of Homeland Security says personnel should prioritize all immigrants for deportation if they have been charged with any criminal offense. This will include those who have been charged but have not yet been convicted of the alleged crimes.
The shift in policy implies that there are now five more immigrants prioritized for deportation unlike it was during the Obama administration. Some of the advocates with a Virginia group called La ColectiVA say the raids are part of the administration’s agenda to get immigrant communities to live in fear of detention, of deportation and of being abducted from their communities.
The shift in policy has also led to a 25% drop in reports of sexual assault coming from the Latin community as reported by the Los Angeles Police Department. A decline in the number of Latins reporting rape has also decreased by nearly 43% as indicated by Houston Police.