The Department of Homeland Security released its year-end “immigration enforcement” report on Tuesday, detailing the number of undocumented immigrants it’s arrested, detained, and deported throughout 2017.
The key takeaways? Border apprehensions are down, deportations are up, and the people responsible for arresting undocumented immigrants absolutely love their jobs.
“In...2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported 310,531 apprehensions nationwide, 303,916 of which were along the Southwest border, underscoring the need for a physical barrier at the border,” the report stated. “Additionally, in FY 2017, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Removal Operations (ERO) conducted 143,470 arrests and 226,119 removals.”
As the department notes, the number of border apprehensions is significantly down compared to years past—presumably due to fewer undocumented immigrants attempting to enter the United States during the first year of the Trump administration:
In addition to the 310,531 apprehensions by U.S. Border Patrol agents there were 216,370 inadmissible cases by CBP officers in FY17, representing a 23.7 percent decline over the previous year. Illegal migration along the Southwest border declined sharply from January 21 to April, which was the lowest month of border enforcement activity on record.
But while border arrests may be on the decline, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations team—the agents who actually track down undocumented people, detain them, and ultimately deport them—have been keeping extremely busy (emphasis mine throughout):
Notably, from the start of the Trump Administration on January 20, 2017 through the end of the fiscal year, ERO made 110,568 arrests compared to 77,806 in FY2016 - an increase of 40 percent. During the same timeframe, removals that resulted from an ICE arrest increased by 37 percent, nearly offsetting the historically low number of border apprehensions, a population that typically constitutes a significant portion of ICE removals.
DHS goes on to point out that while these arrest and deportation rates are up, the total ICE removal numbers for the year are slightly lower than last year, due in part to fewer people crossing the border in the first place.
But perhaps the most telling part of the report is this:
In addition to these improved numbers, the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) results for CBP and ICE personnel significantly improved this year, reflecting that the Administration is allowing them to faithfully execute their duties and fully enforce the law.
How nice for them.