Immigration arrests fall under Trump

Immigration by is licensed under Flickr

U.S. immigration arrests fell under President Donald Trump at the end of 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier, a drop authorities attributed to a growing need to deal with "alarming rates" of migrant families at the border.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said on Thursday that enforcement resources were stretched thin in the interior of the country as agents deal with an overflow of Central Americans seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Immigration authorities said the agency arrested 34,546 people living in the country illegally in October through December of last year - the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year. That was a 12 percent drop from the 39,328 people arrested during the same period a year earlier.

"Our interior arrests have been affected because I have had to redirect" resources to address the "alarming rate" of arrivals at the border, said Nathalie Asher, executive associate director of ICE's enforcement and removal operations, on a conference call with reporters.