By Walter Ewing (immigrationimpact.com)
There is a disturbing trend in aggressive immigration enforcement that is appearing more and more recently: the detention of U.S. citizens. There are clear indications that U.S. immigration agents are locking up people they assume must be non-citizens, but who are in fact U.S. citizens.
These abuses transcend any presidential administration. But there are indications that the Trump administration has been particularly aggressive in detaining and then challenging U.S.-born individuals about their citizenship status. According to a report released in July that analyzes ICE enforcement data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), there has been a striking increase in the number of U.S. citizens “encountered” by ICE during the Trump years.
In the first year after President Trump took office, ICE encountered 27,540 U.S. citizens. In comparison, during the last year of the Obama administration, ICE encountered 5,940 U.S. citizens. This trend suggests that some U.S. citizens who may “appear deportable” in the eyes of some U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers have become increasingly vulnerable to immigration enforcement in recent years.