Under Trump, ICE is detaining way more immigrants with no criminal record

Trump is unshackling ICE
(Image credit: Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

You may have read about some of the recent arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): the Polish-born doctor in Kalamazoo, a legal resident who has lived in the U.S. since he was 5; the Arizona father first brought to the U.S. at age 1, to be deported despite a 5-year-old son with cancer; the college chemistry instructor in Kansas who arrived from Bangladesh 30 years go and was arrested last month while taking his daughter to school; the Virginia mother deported to El Salvador after 11 years because of a traffic stop; the New York immigration activist, Ravi Ragbir, detained in January, earning ICE a rebuke from a federal judge.

President Trump promised to unshackle ICE, and while ICE arrested slightly more immigrants with any sort of criminal conviction (including driving without a license) in fiscal 2017 — 105,736 — immigration agents arrested more than twice as many immigrants with no criminal history, 37,734, The Washington Post reports. The ACLU says ICE appears to be "increasingly targeting activists who publicly oppose or resist the Trump administration's anti-immigrant agenda," stretching the First Amendment.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.