Across at least 11 states last week, federal immigration officials arrested more than 600 people. An estimated 40 people were detained in the New York City area alone, law enforcement officials told the New York Times Sunday. These numbers were reported the same day Trump delivered the following boastful tweet:
According to figures from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), approximately 160 foreign nationals were arrested across six separate counties in the Los Angeles area. More were arrested across Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
In a statement Monday, ICE characterized the "targeted arrests" as akin to enforcement operations they've employed for years. "President Trump has been clear in affirming the critical mission of DHS in protecting the nation and directed our Department to focus on removing illegal aliens who have violated our immigration laws, with a specific focus on those who pose a threat to public safety, have been charged with criminal offenses, have committed immigration violations or have been deported and re-entered the country illegally," Secretary Kelly said. The statement also updated the total count of arrests to 680. Worth noting? The term "illegal alien" was dropped by the Library of Congress back in 2016.
Though mass arrests also happened during both the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations, the first month of Trump's White House has some approaching this news as merely the start of a larger plan. Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, told the Times Sunday that ICE's "business as usual" explanation was of little comfort. "At some point, we know that they will start to ramp up enforcement activity," Choi said.