Arrests of undocumented immigrants are up under President Trump, surging by more than 30%. The number of people arrested with no criminal record? More than doubling. These numbers from U.S. immigrations and customs enforcement.
But how does ICE actually get people out of the country? With a secret airline, literally, called “ICE AIR” that’s funded by taxpayers.
As President Trump promised,”These are bad dudes. We’re getting the bad ones out!”
One of them, David Padilla, a deported Mexican Immigrant who says, “My DUI, that’s what they got me with. I was never selling drugs.”
David Padilla is one of the 135 Mexican Nationals who arrived on a flight from El Paso to Mexico City. It’s a scene repeated 3-times a week year round. It’s called “ICE AIR” – an airline funded by the U.S. government and run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A fleet of commercial planes flying deported immigrants out of the United States. Each deported passenger costing us taxpayers an average of $2,000 last year.Padilla says, “It’s just so hard. They just pull you away. You can’t even say bye to anybody. So hard.”
Padilla explains he was separated from his two young daughters in early March when immigration officials pulled him over on his way to work and took him into custody. He blames President Trump, NOT his DUI saying, “If I would’ve been like pulled over the day that it happened without Trump being in office, I think I would’ve been able to go home.”
Others have similar stories. Alonso Diaz was convicted of a DUI in 2008. 21-year-old old Eduardo Hernandez is a convicted felon. On his record, fleeing and eluding. The last time Hernandez saw his family was 13 years ago before he crossed the border illegally into the U.S. with his parents.
On the “ICE AIR” flight back Hernandez said, “Everybody thinks about their family. They’re leaving their family. They’re leaving their kids. They’re leaving everything behind to start a new life.”
ICE AIR is not listed on airport arrival screens. On the flight, deportees are provided a meal, but also handcuffed. Upon arrival, they carry a take-home bag with water, snacks and paperwork-along with personal belongings.
Then there are those on ICE AIR like Guadalupe Figueroa. ICE confirmed her criminal record consists only of deportations. She flew into Mexico City on an ICE AIR flight. She says she is not a dangerous criminal and can’t understand why she has been separated from her two children in the united states.
Padilla claims ICE cut off his shoelaces, and says none of it is enough to keep him from his family in the United States.
From inauguration day to mid-March, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement removal authorities have made more than 21,000 arrests of undocumented immigrants. The new numbers point to the Trump Administration’s focus on the enforcement of immigration laws.
Officials now have more authority to go after a wider group of undocumented immigrants.