NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - In the roughly three months since President Trump signed an executive order on immigration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested nearly 400 illegal immigrants a day, up nearly 40 percent over the same period last year.
As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to deport illegal immigrants with criminal records. While ICE said agents have arrested about 20 percent more convicted criminals than last year, the arrests of illegal immigrants with no criminal convictions have more than doubled.
ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said in a statement that while ICE agents have been directed to focus on threats to public safety and national security, "...when we encounter others who are in the country unlawfully, we will execute our sworn duty and enforce the law. ... Our communities will be much safer for it."
But Camille Mackler, the director of legal initiatives at the New York Immigration Coalition, argued that the opposite may be true.
"I think the biggest impact that we're seeing is on public safety, because we now have individuals who are afraid of coming forward of reporting crime, of acting as witnesses in investigations or in prosecutions of going to the courthouse," Mackler said. "This is an issue that affects us all."
While immigration arrests are up, deportations are actually down so far under President Trump. ICE attributed that to fewer arrests along the U.S.-Mexican border and a backlog of cases.