Undocumented immigrants in New York are being arrested at growing rates with a troubling spike in those without criminal convictions, federal data obtained by WNYC showed.
The news outlet reported that between January and the end of May, 2,974 undocumented immigrants were arrested in New York and New Jersey, a 38 percent increase compared to the same period in 2016.
The data demonstrated that 25 percent of those arrested had no criminal convictions, up from 17 percent for the same period last year.
The figures are in line with the national increase in ICE arrests of undocumented immigrants, jumping from 41,300 arrested January 22 through April 29 from 30,000 arrested in 2016, according to The Atlantic. ICE arrested 150 percent more non-criminals, rising from 4,200 in 2016 to 10,800 in 2017.
Despite the Trump administration’s claim that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will focus only on criminals, immigration agents are found infringing on the community’s rights, striking fear into New York’s most vulnerable populations.
And here on Long Island, advocates have consistently faced an unclear set of policies from local law enforcement regarding their cooperation with ICE. This can clearly be shown in last month’s case regarding Denis Guerra Guerra, a community member not charged with a crime, yet handed into ICE custody for deportation.
It is clear that the narrative of arresting criminals is a rose-colored veneer on the truth. Genuine, hard-working immigrants are being drawn into the dragnet of ICE’s deportation scheme, courtesy of the Trump administration.