This year, arrests and deportations of undocumented immigrants across the country are down from 2016. However, those numbers have risen in Colorado and Wyoming.
It’s not clear how many arrests or deportations took place just in Wyoming this year, because Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not provide that data state-by-state. Instead, Wyoming is lumped together with Colorado in what ICE calls an “area of responsibility.”
But the number of deportations in those two states more than doubled over the last year, while arrests of undocumented immigrants went up by 20 percent. In 2016, there 1,033 deportations. That number jumped to 2,535 in 2017.
ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok said the Denver field office increased the contracted amount of space in detention centers over the last year, which may have led to more arrests and deportations in Wyoming and Colorado.
In a press conference, ICE Director Thomas Holman said the arrest policy under the Obama Administration prevented officers from doing their job.
“[The] President has made it clear in his executive orders there’s no population off the table. If you’re in this country illegally, we’re looking for you and we’re going to look to apprehend you,” Holman said. “You’ll get your day in court, and if the decision is you’re going home, you’re going home. But we get allegations every day against the fine men and women of ICE.”
ICE has been criticized for allegedly making arrests outside sensitive locations like churches and schools, which without specific circumstances, is against policy.