Homan stressed that 92 percent of all ICE arrests this fiscal year were of those who had criminal convictions.
ICE reports 92 percent of people the agency administratively arrested between January 20 and the end of FY2017, had a criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge, were an ICE fugitive or were an illegal re-entrant.
Colorado and Wyoming saw a major uptick in the number of people arrested and deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the first year of the Trump administration, according to new numbers released by the agency Tuesday.
A little over 300,000 people were arrested by the agency that patrols America's border in the year to September 2017.
Even as border crossings decline, however, Trump continues to push for his promised wall along the border - a wall that critics say is unnecessary and a waste of cash. ICE acting chief Homan says arrests of gang members - including the violent MS-13 gang - have jumped 83 percent.
But while arrests of people living illegally in the USA were up, deportations dipped by 6% from the previous year to a total of 226,119. And removals resulting from an agency arrest went up 37 percent since January 20, ICE said.
The final argument being pitched by opponents of these programs is that the lower number of border crossings means we don't need to bother spending the money to put up the wall, right? But overall removals, which include people apprehended at the border, are lower than a year ago because there simply haven't been as many immigrants entering the country illegally.
Overall, the agency reports HSI made 32,958 criminal arrests and seized $524 million in illicit currency and assets after investigating cross-border criminal activity in FY17. And they were up 37 percent after Trump's inauguration compared to the same period a year earlier. In short, not having so many people to deal with as they come over the border, ICE has been freed up to go after those who have been in the country longer and migrated to other areas.
Lower numbers notwithstanding, Homeland Security officials insisted on Tuesday that a border wall remains necessary.
The drop, which was reported by US Customs and Border Protection, brought the rate of undocumented arrivals to the lowest level since 2000. "We're still arresting almost 1,000 people a day coming across the border", he said.
Despite the overall decline in border arrests, the numbers have increased every month since May and many of those apprehended have been families and unaccompanied children. That is a considerable decrease from past year, presumably due to a reduction in the number attempted illegal crossings into the United States. The arrests were of immigration fugitives or those who illegally re-entered the country.