Ten months after President Trump took office, the effect of his toughened immigration policies is showing up: The number of people caught at the southwest border has declined, while arrests of immigrants inside the country surged by 40%, statistics released Tuesday showed.
The new numbers, which offer the most complete snapshot yet of immigration enforcement under Trump, show that Border Patrol arrests plunged to a 45-year low in the fiscal year that ended September 30, with far fewer people being apprehended between official border crossings.
Assaults on agents by undocumented immigrants have almost doubled, to a six-year high of 847 from 584 last year, while border arrests have declined 25 percent from last year's 415,816.
Data from ICE, though, suggested that processes to deport arrested illegal immigrants have become even more backed up than before, despite Trump's orders to increase the number of courts and judges handling such cases.
TPS is an immigration program which allows people from countries recovering from disaster - mainly Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Haiti - to live and work in the US legally. The use of force with devices other than firearms has risen almost 30 percent, to 717 instances this year from 554 last year.
Homan says the Trump administration has cast a wider net when picking up people for deportation.
Illegal immigration, particularly along the southwest border, "declined sharply" from January 21 to April, said CBP Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald D. Vitiello during a press conference Tuesday.
April 2017 was the month with the lowest border enforcement activity on record, according to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which oversees Border Patrol.
"That's not a coincidence, that's based on this president and his belief in letting the men and women of ICE and Border Patrol do their job", said Homan.
During the same time period, the agency arrested more than 110,000 people, a 42 percent increase over the prior year. Meanwhile, arrests by agents with ICE in the interior of the country spiked from the year before to 143,470 immigrants - mostly Central Americans. One reason for that, officials said, was the steep 24% drop in border arrests.
"However, if you look at ICE deportations, people that are arrested in the interior and were removed, those numbers are up nearly 40 percent".
The comparison to a year ago was not immediately known. "We're still arresting almost 1,000 people a day coming across the border", he said.
"This isn't just about law enforcement, this is about saving lives", he added. At the same time, arrests along the Mexican border have fallen sharply, apparently as fewer people have tried to sneak into the U.S.
"People don't come to the United States to go on vacation", she said. And, most recently, the USA president put the lives of some 300,000 people - who were protected under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) - in limbo.
Border Patrol, which oversees the USA borders with Mexico and Canada, said it had arrested 310,531 people nationwide - a decrease of about 25% in total arrests. "It's about removing that magnet".