Arrests of illegal aliens continue to rise under President Donald Trump.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported nearly 4,900 arrests in the first five months of 2017 -- compared to just under 2,600 during President Barack Obama's final year in office.
“Our arrests in total are up about three percent in Houston over the same time period last year, and I can tell you our detainers are up 44 percent,” says Deputy Field Office Director Bret Bradford.
“Under the previous administration there certain categories or groups of individuals who were, for lack of a better terms, off limits,” he says. “With the new administration in place now they've pretty much wiped that slate clean and told us we're not going to restrict you by policy, what we're going to ask you to do is use the immigration law, just go enforce it as written.”
Bradford says even though Harris and Fort Bend counties have declined to take part in a federal program to train deputies on immigration enforcement, ICE detainer requests to those counties are still being honored.
“Sheriff Ed Gonzalez did opt-out right now, but with Harris County we still have full cooperation, we still work hand-in-hand and they still share information with us, so the partnership is still there,” he says.
Bradford expects that partnership to continue after the state's new sanctuary city ban goes into effect in September.
“If you've committed the criminal act of entering this country illegally, do we need to allow you to commit three misdemeanors or a significant felony before we take action?” he asks. “I'd rather see a more proactive approach in getting them out before we get to that point.”