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Trump policies lead to more arrests of non-criminal immigrants

President Trump is fond of using stories of crimes committed by illegal immigrants to stoke support for his harsh immigration policies. Recent studies are showing, however, that the administration's harsh policies are leading to the arrests of an increasing number of non-criminal immigrants.

Most people arrested in the administration's crackdown on illegal immigration are usually accused of lesser offences, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are increasingly arresting people with no criminal record at all. A policy analyst with the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute says that the arrest of non-criminal immigrants has become "a defining characteristic of this administration's approach to immigration."

The statistics prove the point. ICE arrests of non-criminals increased 66 percent in the first nine months of 2018. Arrests of convicts rose only two percent during the same period. Among persons expelled from the United States in fiscal 2017, the number of persons with no criminal convictions rose 174 percent. The number of persons with prior convictions deported during the same period rose only 13 percent. Of the 220,000 people deported during fiscal 2017, 79,270 had no criminal record. Of those who had a criminal conviction, one in four showed illegal entry as their most serious offense. Driving under the influence was the second most common infraction. Other studies have repeatedly shown that immigrants to the U. S. have committed fewer crimes than full-fledged citizens.

Despite the notorious "zero tolerance" policy of the United States Justice Department, U.S. laws provide some protections for immigrants. Anyone who is concerned about the possibility of deportation for himself or a family member may wish to consult an experienced immigration attorney for advice on how to avoid the harsh and occasionally illegal actions of ICE.

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