ICE records reveal they are arresting more people who have no criminal record. In 2015 and 2016, 85% of people arrested by ICE had criminal convictions. In the first 14 months of the Trump administration, 69% of their arrests involved people with criminal convictions.
The facts are clear: more undocumented people are being detained by ICE.
In 2015 and 2016, about 1,703 ICE arrests occurred monthly (of people with no criminal conviction); now on average 4,143 arrests happen each month.
We have a client, who has been in the U.S. since 2006 and who has no criminal history and was just picked up by ICE. His second driving without a license conviction triggered his being detained.
Before Trump, ICE agents were told to focus on undocumented immigrants with serious criminal histories. Now the net is bigger.
It's more important than ever for undocumented people to be proactive. Avoid interaction with law enforcement by not driving without a current license.
Possible avenues for legal relief should be carefully considered. The options for relief include the possibility of (1) being able to claim U.S. citizenship through a parent or grandparent, (2) getting a waiver or cancellation of removal based on extreme hardship, (3) obtaining a green card because of abuse, or (4) being a crime victim. Each possibility has particular requirements and evidence is critical. There is no one-size-fits-all answer; each person has their own unique facts.