Residents gathered Tuesday night to discuss Collier County's partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to catch undocumented immigrants.
But ICE also took into account in a press release announcing the numbers that there was a 40 percent jump in removals since President Donald Trump took office on January 20 when compared to the previous fiscal year. Thomas Homan, ICE Deputy Director, said, according to Mic.
In February, then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly scrapped the previous administration's instructions to limit deportations to public safety threats, convicted criminals and recent border crossers, effectively making anyone vulnerable who is in the country illegally.
The less detailed classification of immigrants who are deported and arrested by ICE makes it hard to compare the types of people ICE is targeting under Trump versus under Obama, but Tuesday's ICE statistics on immigration arrests indicate that the agency is casting a wider net than it has in recent years.
While 74 percent of the arrests reported Tuesday were of people with criminal convictions, that's down from 83 percent during the final year under Obama. ICE says that the total number of removals nationwide was down 6 percent this year compared to last year, which the agency attributed "to the decline in border apprehensions".
Advocacy groups have criticized ICE for arresting and deporting people with jobs and families in the United States.
The next meeting will be held on December 11 at the Professional Development Center. "It costs us more money as taxpayers", said Kevin Caron, a steering committee member for Georgia Detention Watch, which supports people detained by ICE. For those who say ICE no longer prioritizes criminals, fact: "We arrested more criminals this year than we did last year".
But ICE's end-of-year statistics, released Tuesday, show that people with clean criminal records are far from safe ― including so-called "Dreamers" who came to the U.S.as children, should they lose deportation protections from the now-rescindedDeferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The number of people booked into immigrant detention from within the country likewise jumped sharply, increasing more than 40 percent since Trump took office.
ICE deported almost 226,000 people from the United States in the 2017 fiscal year by the end of September, which is 6 percent less than the previous year.