Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.

Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde January 3, 2018

Arrests for civil violations of immigration laws increased, overall fewer deportations

President Donald Trump's administration remains committed to deporting anyone in the country illegally, regardless of how old they were when they came to the United States.

Trump initially kept in place an Obama-era program that protected from deportation so-called "Dreamers," or immigrants in the United States illegally who arrived when they were minors. But in September his administration rescinded that program, called DACA for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, as officials focused on removing anyone in the country illegally.

The Department of Homeland Security said immigrants with an active DACA status would continue benefiting from deportation protection up to their application's validity period, and that it would adjudicate on a case-by-case basis applications from individuals with benefits expiring by March 5, 2018.

Trump told lawmakers in September to pass a legislative solution for Dreamers, but he has since warned that he won't sign an immigration bill if Democrats don't concede on funding for his promised border wall and support other proposed immigration policies.

It's uncertain whether a future spending bill will include a solution for Dreamers. Congress passed a stopgap spending bill in December to keep the government running until Jan. 19.

In year-end reports, immigration officials highlighted the administration's resolve to enforce immigration laws, without exceptions.

"The president made it clear in his executive orders: There's no population off the table," U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director Thomas Homan said on Dec. 5. "If you're in this country illegally, we're looking for you and we're going to look to apprehend you."

More people were arrested for civil violations of immigration laws in fiscal 2017 than in 2016, and deportations of people already living in the United States also went up in 2017. (The total number of deportations in fiscal year 2017 was lower than in 2016. That total includes removals of individuals apprehended at the border and in the interior of the country.)

Despite Trump's shifting stance on Dreamers, his administration has rescinded DACA and said it's committed to deporting all immigrants living illegally in the United States. We move this promise from Stalled to In the Works.

Our Sources

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde May 18, 2017

Trump says young immigrants can ‘rest easy,’ exempted from deportation priorities

During his campaign, President Donald Trump delighted his supporters and alarmed immigrant advocates as he promised to deport anyone who was in the country illegally.

"We have at least 11 million people in this country that came in illegally. They will go out. They will come back — some will come back, the best, through a process," Trump said on February 2016.

Trump signed an executive order in the early days of his administration that widened the categories of people immigration officials can arrest and place in removal proceedings.

His directive and Department of Homeland Security implementing documents indicate that anyone in the country illegally is a priority for removal, even if they have not been convicted of crimes.

But Trump's tone has softened toward young immigrants who came to the United as children and who have received a reprieve from deportation under an Obama-era program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

As a candidate, Trump labeled the program "unconstitutional," pledging to swiftly terminate it.

As president, he said DACA is a "very, very difficult subject" for him.

Immigration enforcement guidelines issued by his administration exempt DACA recipients from deportation priorities. About 750,000 immigrants have DACA protection.

Trump told the Associated Press in April that DACA beneficiaries, so-called "Dreamers," could "rest easy" because his administration is "not after the dreamers, we are after the criminals."

News reports have said the Trump administration has arrested and deported immigrants protected by DACA, but immigration officials have disputed details in some of those cases.

One case surrounded by conflicting information is that of Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez, deported to Mexico on Feb. 20.

DHS says that Border Patrol agents arrested Montes-Bojorquez on Feb. 19, but he had previously (on an unknown date) left the country on his own terms without advance parole, thus terminating DACA protections.

Lawyers for the 23-year-old deny that version of the story. They say immigration agents physically removed him from the country on Feb. 17 when he was walking in a California border town. He later tried to re-enter the United States but was apprehended and eventually sent back to Mexico.

Immigrants and their advocates have expressed skepticism over Trump's comments that DACA recipients can "rest easy."

"This is a president who is saying, 'I love Dreamers and I care about them as children,' and yet is turning around and traumatizing them and their families," Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, which is representing Montes-Bojorquez, told the Associated Press.

However, given Trump's new rhetoric toward Dreamers and their exemption from deportation priorities, we rate Trump's promise to remove all undocumented immigrants as Stalled.

Latest Fact-checks