NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Arrests of undocumented immigrants in North Texas have nearly doubled since President Donald Trump took office.
Statistics obtained by CBS 11 show they’ve gone up by nearly 40 percent, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In a Fort Worth tortilla shop that doubles as a restaurant, almost everyone is an immigrant, both legal and not. This morning, an undocumented woman ate a late breakfast and planned for what she believes is inevitable deportation.
“It’s pure fear now,” she said. “If I talk to other immigrants, it’s the same. Just fear.”
The mother and wife agreed to speak to CBS 11 if we didn’t show her face or give her name. She says she came to the United States seven years ago to earn money to pay for her kids’ education in Mexico. Since Trump took office, she and her family have been saving money in case they’re deported.
“We already bought boxes so we can start packing our things and sending them to Mexico,” she said.
As a candidate, Trump said he would crack down on illegal immigration. As president, many say he’s kept his word. CBS 11 obtained numbers showing how many undocumented immigrants were arrested in North Texas in the first few days of his presidency.
According to ICE, 2,586 undocumented immigrants were arrested in the first five months of 2016. In that same time period this year, 4,969 undocumented immigrants have been taken into custody. That’s an increase of almost 40 percent.
“It should be 100 [percent],” said Tim Bothe, a Fort Worth resident.
The president’s stance on immigration is a big reason Bothe voted for him. Bothe supports the approach ICE is taking under its new leadership.
“ICE will no longer exempt any class of individuals from removal proceedings if they are found to be in the country illegally,” said ICE in a statement.
Under the Obama Administration, ICE focused on so-called “criminal” immigrants, those who had felonies and other rap sheets. In the first 100 days of the Trump administration, ICE arrested 4,155 criminal immigrants and 814 non-criminal. In 2016, ICE arrested 2,337 criminal immigrants compared to 249 non-criminal immigrants.
“It’s our country,” said Bothe. “Are we not supposed to protect our rights and our families and all our citizens here in America?”