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 But in September his administration rescinded that program, called DACA for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, as officials focused on removing anyone in the country illegally.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Despite Trump's shifting stance on Dreamers, his administration has rescinded DACA and said it's committed to deporting all immigrants living illegally in the United States.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.
PolitiFact, Terminate Barack Obama's immigration executive orders 'immediately', last updated Sept. 5, 2017
The New York Times, Congress Passes Stopgap Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown Against a Friday Deadline, Dec. 21, 2017
PolitiFact, Have deportations increased under Donald Trump? Here's what the data shows, Dec. 19, 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.
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.
"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.
U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, ICE ERO immigration arrests climb nearly 40 percent
Associated Press, Trump tells young immigrants in US illegally to 'rest easy', April 21, 2017
Associated Press, Young immigrants won't 'rest easy' despite Trump's comments on 'dreamers', April 21, 2017
New York Times, U.S. Deported Immigrant in 'Dreamer' Program, Lawsuit Says, April 18, 2017
Department of Homeland Security, DHS Statement on Former DACA Recipient Juan Manuel Montes- Bojorquez, April 19, 2017
Fox News, Judge orders release of Seattle 'Dreamer' arrested by ICE, March 18, 2017
PolitiFact, Trump-O-Meter: Remove criminal undocumented immigrants, last updated Feb. 21, 2017
PolitiFact, Trump-O-Meter: Terminate Barack Obama's immigration executive orders 'immediately', last updated March 3, 2017
PolitiFact, President Donald Trump's deportation of 'bad dudes', March 3, 2017
Department of Homeland Security, Obama administration removal priorities, Nov. 20, 2014
Department of Homeland Security, Q&A: DHS Implementation of the Executive Order on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement, Feb. 21, 2017
CNN, Transcripts, Trump Live News Conference; President Trump's News Conference; Trump Defensive Over Media; Trump talks Travel Ban Rollout, Feb. 16, 2017