Who Is Trump Really Deporting? The Numbers Are In

April 29th 2017

Nicole Levin

President Donald Trump says his administration has deported some "tremendous criminals."  However, new Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data shows it's deporting many other people too.

Data from Operation Cross Check, the name for ICE raids earlier this year, shows that the majority of immigrants picked up did not have serious criminal convictions, according to The Washington Post

Out of the 675 immigrants detained in Operation Cross Check this February, 177 had no criminal charges at all; 66 had charges pending (mostly for traffic offenses); and another 163 were convicted of traffic offenses (90 percent involved drunk driving, ICE claimed Friday). However, most of the DUI offenses were years old, Kica Matos, a spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement told the Post. 

Some of those deported did have serious criminal offenses on their record: 57 had been convicted for drug related incidences, 80 had been convicted of assault, and two had been convicted of murder. 

In January 2017 through mid-March, the Trump administration deported at least 21,362 people, 22 percent more than during the same time last year under the Obama administration. At least 5,441 of those deported had no criminal record at all. 

The Obama administration also deported immigrants with no criminal record, including Central American refugees. However, in late 2014 it announced a policy to focus on gang members, people apprehended at the border, and convicted felons, according to Newsweek

Now, though, "ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement," ICE spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea told the Post. "All of those in violation of the immigration law may be subject to immigration arrest, detention, and if found removable by final order, removal from the United States." 


Trump told the AP that he was not going to target "Dreamers": young people brought to the U.S. as children who have obtained temporary residency through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. However, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also said that "anyone who enters the country unlawfully is subject to deportation." The first dreamer was deported earlier this month.