HUNDREDS OF ICE ARRESTS: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced hundreds of arrests in recent days. Here's a snapshot:
—Tuesday: 83 arrested over a four-day period in Wisconsin
—Wednesday: 150 arrested over a three-day period in the Los Angeles area
—Wednesday: 98 arrested over a 10-day period in Texas and Oklahoma
—Thursday: 105 arrested in Michigan and Ohio over a 10-day period
The arrests could be an effort to increase removal numbers before the close of the fiscal year, John Sandweg, an acting ICE director during the Obama administration, told Morning Shift. Despite Trump's intense focus on immigration, removal numbers in fiscal year 2017 remained far below the levels under Obama. For example, ICE removed roughly 226,000 people in fiscal 2017. Compare that to nearly 410,000 at peak levels of the Obama administration.
ICE is on pace for roughly 255,000 arrests this year based on figures through the first three quarters of fiscal 2018. That would be higher than the last few years, but still far below most annual Obama totals. Sandweg argues that much of that is out of the administration's control: the immigration courts continue to be a chokepoint that slow removals and many families and children arriving at the border each month seek asylum.