Federal authorities conducted 108,667 arrests for immigration crimes in 2018, up more than five times from the 20,942 arrests in 1998. Immigration arrests accounted for 95 percent of the total increase in the number of federal arrests over the past 20 years, the data shows.
That data also shows a flip in the percentage of arrests of noncitizens compared to arrests of U.S. citizens. In 1998, arrests of citizens accounted for 63 percent of the total arrests. By 2018, arrests of noncitizens had grown to 64 percent of the total.
In a press release accompanying the data, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) noted that while noncitizens accounted for 7 percent of the U.S. population, they committed 24 percent of all federal drug arrests, 25 percent of all federal property arrests, and 28 percent of all federal fraud arrests.
President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to enforce and strengthen the nation's immigration laws. While the total number of immigration arrests in 2018 reached the highest level over the 20-year period, the total number of arrests in 2017 was the lowest in 10 years. The increase in total arrests in 2018 was fueled almost entirely by immigration arrests.