The number of immigration arrests by the federal government has grown significantly while the number of arrests for other federal offenses have plummeted sharply in the last 10 years, according to research released Monday by the Pew Research Center. The news came as the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency was ramping up its efforts to arrest, detain and ultimately deport undocumented immigrants who have a violent criminal history in the U.S. Pew's research, based on a new report by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics, found that one in every two federal arrests were related to some type of immigration-related violation in 2014, the most recent month available for applicable data. For full context, federal immigration arrests accounted for 28 percent of all arrests in 2004, 22 percent fewer immigration arrests a decade later. Conversely, federal arrests for drugs, probation or parole violations, property crimes and guns were all down significantly in that same time period. ICE has been ramping up its enforcement of national immigration laws since late January, when President Donald Trump signed an executive order "in order to ensure the public safety of the American people in communities across the United States as well as to ensure that our Nation's immigration laws are faithfully executed."
For the past year, several cities and states across the country have fought a very public battle against the Trump administration's attempts to crackdown on undocumented immigrants, with some instituting new "sanctuary" policies limiting their cooperation with the federal government on immigration enforcement. The Trump administration has since sued the state over SB54 and two other laws, and it has threatened to withhold federal funding from other sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with ICE, such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Now, a new report shows that sanctuary policies have had a significant impact on the number of undocumented immigrants arrested since Trump took office: While effectively protecting some immigrants, the policies have inadvertently pushed the Trump administration to shift its tactics by making more arrests within the community, bringing in more undocumented immigrants without criminal convictions, and ultimately creating a heightened climate of fear among undocumented immigrants. Over the course of six months, researchers visited seven ICE field offices and 15 jurisdictions with varying levels of cooperation with ICE. The report draws from more than 120 interviews with ICE officials, police chiefs, state and government officials, and others, as well as data from a Freedom of Information Act Request. The report notes that while the Trump administration is "pulling as many levers as possible to reorient the enforcement system," it has been hamstrung in its efforts by growing pushback from Congress, states, cities, and community rights groups--in particular, by sanctuary policies.
Arrest rates for men are on the decline in New York City, but the same can't be said for their female counterparts, according to a report released Thursday. In the report, published by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in conjunction with The New York Women's Foundation, researchers analyzed the role of gender within the criminal justice system and the differences women face during imprisonment following their arrests compared to men. Not only were arrest rates for males decreasing at a higher rate than women, but males were also more likely to have prosecutions declined than women. Of the 314,595 arrests made in New York City in 2014, 57,119 were women, the report said. The number of female arrests was up to 18.2 percent that year compared to the 17.8 percent of arrests women made up in 2010.
As nine states prepare to vote on legalize or decriminalization marijuana laws on Election Day, the FBI reported a significant decrease in the number of arrests made for cannabis possession and sales. The latest statistics report, which was released Monday, also indicated the majority of the arrests made for marijuana charges were based on possession. The latest statstics which show 574,641 arrests were made for marijuana possession and 68,480 for trafficking in 2015, are the lowest number of arrests police officials have made since 1996, indicating a seven percent year-over-year drop and a whopping 25 percent drop from its peak -- 800,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2007. The data, according to the FBI, suggests that the drop in arrests may be because law enforcement has been spending more time cracking down trafficking in and possession of harder drugs like cocaine and heroin. Marijuana advocates believe the latest statistics will help push legislation efforts in the various states with legalization and decriminalization initiatives for medical and recreational marijuana on the ballot Nov. 8.
Federal immigration agents arrested nearly 200 people in the Los Angeles area during a five-day dragnet targeting criminal offenders living in the country illegally, U.S. officials said Thursday. Agents arrested 188 people in an operation targeting "at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and immigration fugitives," according to a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Nearly 90% -- 169 -- of those arrested in the operation, which ended Wednesday, had prior convictions, officials said. Those arrested included nationals from 11 countries. The majority, 146 people, are from Mexico.