Deportations of people in New York City without criminal convictions skyrocketed more than 265 percent during President Donald Trump’s first fiscal year in office, according to a new report by city Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Stringer said 313 people without criminal convictions were deported during fiscal 2016, the final year of President Barack Obama’s term. The number jumped to 1,144 in fiscal 2018.
The report also showed a large increase in the number of people arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers for civil violations of immigration laws — 3,476 were arrested in 2018, compared with 1,847 in 2016.
“These statistics are harrowing and they’re a call to action," Stringer said in a statement, "because these just aren’t numbers — they’re sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, partners, neighbors, and friends.”
A plurality of the cases, 21 percent, involved Chinese immigrants, followed by 10 percent who were immigrants from India. Almost half of the immigrants involved in these cases, 8 percent, live in Queens.
ICE officials declined to comment on Stringer’s statements or on specifics of his report, but emphasized that anyone living illegally in the United States is breaking the law.
“ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security,” the agency said in a statement. “However, ICE no longer exempts classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.”
”[ICE agents] will continue to enforce the laws set forth by Congress as part of their civic duty, despite any criticism or political rhetoric,” the agency said.
Stringer said the city should boost legal services for immigrants, and he backed pending state legislation that would prevent ICE enforcement inside and around courthouses.