According to an article published by Houston Public Media, Texas workplace arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents rose almost 4,000 percent in 2018. The number of people whom ICE arrested in 2017 at Texas worksites was 13; in 2018, that number rose to 519. About one-third (1/3) of those arrests were on criminal charges, whereas the remaining two-thirds (2/3) of the arrests were of immigrants who were working in the U.S. without legal authorization to do so.
ICE agents in Dallas made the largest number of workplace arrests, followed by agents in El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio. The largest workplace raid took place in Sumner, Texas, a city in northwest Texas, which involved 160 arrests in August 2018.
The Texas workplace arrests represent about one-quarter (1/4) of the workplace immigration arrests made nationwide. The number of immigration workplace arrests rose over 700% nationwide during FFY 2018, which is the first full fiscal year of the Trump administration being in office, to a total of 2,304 arrests. Of these arrests, 779 were for criminal offenses, and the remaining arrests for administrative purposes, or failing to have legal documentation to work in the U.S. Interestingly, however, criminal indictments and convictions have not increased as a result of the increased arrests.
From 2013 to 2017, workplace investigations and arrests by ICE dropped precipitously, as the Obama administration has ordered ICE to focus on arresting criminal offenders rather than investigating workplace violations. When recently retired acting ICE Director Thomas Homan was in office, however, he called for a substantial increase in worksite investigations for possible immigration violations. As a result, ICE initiated 6,848 workplace investigations in 2018, which was four times the rate of investigations in 2017. ICE also launched 5,981 audits of workplaces in 2018. The immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal representation of countless individuals facing various immigration-related issues. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in order to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our immigration attorneys today.