A Texas woman worries that her deportation is inevitable under the Trump administration.
“It’s pure fear now,” she told CBS-DFW in a Tuesday report. “If I talk to other immigrants, it’s the same. Just fear.”
The woman, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, spoke to the Fort Worth outlet on condition of anonymity. She said she came to the Unite States seven years to get money so she could pay for her kids’ education south of the border, but she and her family are saving money in case they’re kicked out.
“We already bought boxes so we can start packing our things and sending them to Mexico,” she said.
It’s a response that reflects escalating arrest numbers for undocumented people, fulfilling President Donald Trump‘s hardline policy on immigration.
Deportations were quite high even under the Obama administration, but young Trump’s presidency is already outpacing him. A report from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement boasted that arrest numbers from January 22 to April 29, 2017 were up compared to the previous year because POTUS tweaked immigration policy through executive orders.
Numbers are up even for people who committed no crimes, but were simply undocumented, a civil offense.
“While these data clearly reflect the fact that convicted criminals are an immigration enforcement priority, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has made it clear that ICE will no longer exempt any class of individuals from removal proceedings if they are found to be in the country illegally,” they said. “This is evident by the rise in non-criminal arrests over the same period, which increased from approximately 4,200 in 2016 to more than 10,800 in 2017.”
That pattern is reflected in local arrest rates. CBS-DFW got their hands on ICE records, showing a massive spike. 2586 undocumented immigrants were cuffed in north Texas from January through May 2016. That number jumped to 4969 throughout the same months in 2017. That’s almost double.
[Screengrab of ICE via Dec 2016 NJTV report]