The Department of Homeland Security released immigration enforcement statistics Tuesday that offer a more in-depth look at immigration enforcement under the Trump administration.
The numbers show illegal border crossings have dropped while arrests and removals of people living in the U.S. illegally are up both nationally and in Colorado.
ICE administrative arrests are up around 20 percent in Colorado and Wyoming from FY 2016, and removals increased 145 percent from last year.
The following numbers show the arrests and removals from past three years for the Denver Area of Responsibility, which includes both Colorado and Wyoming.
• FY 2017 Denver AOR Admin arrests: 2,746, Removals: 2,535
• FY 2016 Denver AOR Admin arrests: 2,284, Removals: 1,033
• FY 2015 Denver AOR Admin arrests: 2,351, Removals: 1,156
Administrative arrests mean no criminal prosecution was associated with the arrest.
In a conference call, ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan voiced the need to close loopholes and “crack down on sanctuary cities.”
Homan expressed frustration about local law enforcement agencies refusing to work with ICE.
“We’re bankrolling criminal organizations, we’re enticing more people into this country and it’s a public safety threat,” Homan said. “Knowingly releasing a public safety threat into the public is just bad. It puts my officers at risk to go knock on a door rather than arresting someone in the safety and security of a jail.”
The executive orders President Trump signed in January emphasized interior enforcement, which is also reflected in the national numbers, according to DHS.
From the beginning of the Trump Administration in January through the rest of the fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, ICE says Enforcement and Removal Operations arrests increased 40 percent.
According the agency, during this time, ERO made 110,568 arrests, which was 32,762 more than in FY2016.
ICE reports the number of removals from the same timeframe that resulted from an ICE arrest increased 37 percent.
According to the agency, the total ICE removal numbers for FY17 decreased 6 percent from last fiscal year, which is something the department attributes to the decline in border arrests.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports its agents made 310,531 arrests in FY17, a decline of 24 percent from the year before.
According to the agency, illegal border crossings are at a 45 year low, which is a group that typically makes up a major portion of ICE removals.
ICE reports 92 percent of people the agency administratively arrested between Jan. 20 and the end of FY2017, had a criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge, were an ICE fugitive or were an illegal re-entrant.
According to ICE, in FY2017 Homeland Security Investigations arrested 796 MS-13 gang members and associates, which was an 83 percent increase compared to the fiscal year before.
Overall, the agency reports HSI made 32,958 criminal arrests and seized $524 million in illicit currency and assets after investigating cross-border criminal activity in FY17.