On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released information on the six-figure impact Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had on crime in the United States.
The news came as some Democrats called for ICE’s abolition and the agency faced scrutiny from a number of sources.
According to DHS, the agency arrested more than 127,000 immigrants who either had criminal convictions or have pending criminal charges.
That included more than 1,800 homicide offenses, 5,000 sexual assault offenses, and 48,000 assault offenses.
The Department touted ICE’s role in combating terrorism, stopping drug and human trafficking, and preventing criminal organizations from exploiting the nation:
“ICE enforces over 400 federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety,” DHS said.
DHS also defended the organization against claims that it conducted “indiscriminate raids and sweeps,” saying that the vast majority (92 percent) were either fugitives or at least suspected of committing crimes.
“The total aliens administratively arrested in FY 2017 had either criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, were an immigration fugitive, or illegally re-entered the United States after being previously removed,” DHS also said.
ICE director, Tom Homan, warned that because of sanctuary policies that block local cooperation with federal authorities, his agency would be forced to conduct “at-large arrests” which would inevitably result in “collateral arrests.”
He also said, however, that his agency engaged in lawful practices when arresting undocumented immigrants.
DHS’ release came amid a report that President Donald Trump oversaw a sharp increase in arrests of undocumented immigrants without criminal records.
As IJR previously reported, ICE arrested more than 133 individuals on immigration violations earlier this month when it raided businesses in Minnesota and Nebraska.
The administration previously defended ICE amid controversy surrounding the family migrant crisis at the southern border.