Washington, April 29 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration a centrepiece of his administration, but so far his administration has deported fewer people than his predecessor, according to the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
ICE statistics on Friday showed from Inauguration Day — January 20 — until this week, the agency has removed 54,564 individuals, including 30,667 convicted criminals and 23,897 non-criminals, reports CNN.
Thus far, those numbers track slightly behind the pace of removals during the same time period during the past two years of the former President Barack Obama’s administration.
From January 20, 2016, to April 24, 2016, ICE removed 62,062 individuals, including 24,953 non-criminals.
The same time period in 2015 saw 59,938 removals, including 23,571 non-criminals.
During the year that led to Obama hearing the nickname “deporter in chief” from pro-immigrant advocacy groups, the same time period in 2014 saw 87,690 removals, including 38,471 non-criminals.
In contrast with deportations, arrests of undocumented immigrants increased in the first few months of the Trump administration.
In the first two months since the inauguration, the ICE arrested roughly one-third more people than in the previous year, and more than double the number of non-criminal immigrants than the previous year, CNN reported.
In a statement, the ICE said that it is focusing its resources on people who are a threat to “national security, public safety and border security”, but under the Trump administration, no undocumented immigrants will be exempted from potential deportation.