Immigration arrests climb under Trump, but deportations are lagging

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump vowed to immediately deport “bad hombres” from the United States, but the latest statistics from federal immigration officials show that he is unlikely to meet his goal of expelling 2 million to 3 million criminals anytime soon.

In January, the United States deported 9,913 criminals. After a slight uptick under Trump, expulsions sank to 9,600 criminals in June, according to statistics requested by The Washington Post.

Mostly, deportations under the Trump administration have remained lower than in past years under the Obama administration. In the first six months of the year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 61,370 immigrants with criminal records, down from 70,603 in the same period last year.

Advocates on both sides of the immigration debate said they think that the Trump administration’s effort is still gathering steam and that ICE plans to expand deportations in the months ahead. Immigration arrests rose to 13,945 in June, 45 percent above January’s total.

“Deportations under Obama collapsed in the last few years, and turning that around isn’t just a question of snapping your fingers,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors stricter controls on immigration. “Six months from now, we might see something very different.”

During the election campaign, Trump vowed to target criminals for deportation and warned that they would be “going out fast.” Later, he suggested he would try to find a solution for the “terrific people,” such as those with clean records, but that has not materialized.

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