[JURIST] The number of people stopped from illegally crossing the border and the number of deportations are down, but immigration arrests are up from previous years, according to end-of-year statistics [press release] released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] Tuesday.
According to the report, 98percent of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehensions nationwide were at the southwest border, which "underscor[ed] the need for a physical barrier at the border." Apprehensions at the border have decreased from previous years [report]. In 2016 US Border Patrol (USBP) apprehended 408,870 individuals along the southwest border, compared to 331,333 in 2015 and 479,371 in 2014. Apparently this year recorded the lowest level of illegal border-crossing migration at 310,531. However, in May CBP began to see a month-over-month increase in apprehensions, particularly with minors.
Additionally, in 2017 US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Removal Operations (ERO) conducted 143,470 arrests and 226,119 removals. In 2016 [report] ICE removed or returned 240,255 individuals and arrested 114,434. ICE removed or returned 235,413 individuals in 2015. The report attributed the decline in removals to the decrease in border apprehensions. Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) conducted 143,470 arrests and 226,119 removals. According to the report, ERO made increased arrests by 40 percent. During the same time, removals that resulted from an ICE arrest increased by 37 percent, nearly offsetting the historically low number of border apprehensions, a population that typically constitutes a significant portion of ICE removals. Total ICE removal numbers for FY17 (226,119) reflect a slight decline (6 percent) from FY2016 (240,255), largely attributed to the decline in border apprehensions.
Overall, immigration deportations, arrests and crossings have been decreasing since 2008.