Good. It’s what the American people want.
Since October 1, 2017 – the beginning of fiscal year 2018 – ICE has opened investigations into 6,093 workplaces, compared to 1,716 in all of fiscal year 2017.
The agency also made 984 administrative arrests as of July 20 of this year, nearly six times the 172 officials made the year prior.Administrative arrests are when someone is accused of being in the country illegally, but they haven’t been charged with any other crimes.
ICE officials also increased the number of criminal arrests it made, taking in 675 immigrants compared to 139 in all of 2017. Altogether, the 1,659 arrests made so far in FY2018 amount to five times the 311 arrests of FY2017.
Immigrant advocates said they weren’t surprised by the numbers, but that the intensified efforts ultimately represented the Trump administration’s efforts to target low-hanging fruit.
‘I question whether this takes away resources that really go after criminal gangs and other serious criminal aliens,’ said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a White Plains-based attorney and professor of immigration law at Cornell University.
‘The administration is trying to instill fear among undocumented immigrantsillegal aliens,’ he added.
Immigration opponents, meanwhile, viewed the crackdown as a victory that signals an end to a period when immigrants could live and work illegally in the U.S. without facing any consequences.
‘This is good news, said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, an anti-immigration (I see they used the SPLC talking point) think tank based in Washington D.C. ‘From a policy sense you need to deter illegal hiring as much as possible because jobs are what people come here for. If it’s harder to get a job they’re more likely to go home.’
The crackdowns were part of a larger effort to audit companies in order to ‘create a culture of compliance among employers,’ officials said in a release.
Earlier this month, a U.S. District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction related to a California law that prevented private employers from voluntarily cooperating with federal immigration officials during work place investigations.
The U.S. Department of Justice had filed a preemptive lawsuit in March of this year to stop California from interfering with federal immigration authorities. Ultimately, the court found the law discriminated against California employers who wanted to cooperate with ICE.
The companies that ICE has targeted have been primarily staffing companies and restaurants, said Allen Orr Jr., a Washington D.C.-based attorney and second vice president for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
‘This is just another political ploy by the administration following up on its zero-tolerance policy at a time when they should be using their resources to reunite these families that were separated at the border,’ he said.
‘Socioeconomically, this type of enforcement will affect low-wage workers, minimum wage workers and their families,’ Orr added.