USA border arrests at lowest since 1971 - Trump administration

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Homan stressed that 92 percent of all ICE arrests this fiscal year were of those who had criminal convictions.

This morning, the heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) held a press conference to announce their final statistics for fiscal year 2017.

According to acting Director Tom Homan, ICE arrests of immigration violators were up 40 percent to 143,470.

"Under this president, who's now letting us do our job and taking the handcuffs off the men and women of the Border Patrol and ICE, arrests are up", Homan said on "America's Newsroom".

End of the year reports are beginning to trickle in from law enforcement across a number of fields and that includes immigration and Border Patrol.

Even as border crossings decline, however, Trump continues to push for his promised wall along the border - a wall that critics say is unnecessary and a waste of cash.

During the 2015 fiscal year, ICE arrested 2,351 people in Colorado and Wyoming and removed 1,156 people.

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President Donald Trump has pledged to target illegal immigration, and build a wall on the southern border.

Overall, the agency reports HSI made 32,958 criminal arrests and seized $524 million in illicit currency and assets after investigating cross-border criminal activity in FY17.

- The Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration is producing big results as D.C., Maryland and Virginia have together seen thousands of people arrested. And the increase is 37 percent after Trump's inauguration compared to the same period the year before.

Lower numbers notwithstanding, Homeland Security officials insisted on Tuesday that a border wall remains necessary. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they have recorded the lowest level of illegal cross-border migration on record.

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of MS saw it differently.

Despite the overall decline in border arrests, the numbers have increased every month since May and many of those apprehended have been families and unaccompanied children. In September we saw one such operation net nearly 500 illegal aliens in a single week, no doubt feeding into the higher numbers seen in this report. If the President is looking for any more good news to share over the Christmas break, one area he could point to is the effectiveness demonstrated in making progress on curbing illegal immigration and removing illegal aliens from the country.

South of the Arizona border in the Mexican town of Nogales, numerous deportees who were eating breakfast Monday at a dining room run by a nonprofit group had been picked up in the USA far from the border.

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