11 Shocking Statistics That Sum Up Trump's "Zero Tolerance" Immigration Policy

by Lauren Holter
John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Criticism of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy came to a head this month after Attorney General Jeff Sessions argued that families caught illegally crossing the border must be separated in order to uphold the law. This latest push to separate children from their parents drew harsh words not only from immigration advocates, but also from other conservatives who don't typically speak out against the president. Cracking down on illegal immigration was always a pillar of President Trump's agenda, but these statistics on Trump's immigration policy highlight the alarming effects of the his administration's orders.

"I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart," former First Lady Laura Bush wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published on Sunday.

Trump's immigration policy reaches far beyond separating children from their parents at the border. His administration has also worked to prosecute more immigrants who illegally enter the country, arrest more immigrants who already live in the United States, and limit how many people can be granted asylum and refugee status in the country. Looking at the numbers, it's clear Trump's immigration policies have had a huge impact on those trying to start a life in the United States.

At Least 2,700 Children Have Been Separated From Their Parents

John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

At least 2,700 children were separated from their parents between October 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018, according to Vox. The parents of those children face federal charges for crossing the border illegally, a shift from previous administrations' policies of generally referring migrants with children to immigration court.

1,995 Of Them Were Separated From Their Parents In Just The Last Six Weeks

John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Of the total 2,700 minors taken away from their families, 1,995 of them were separated from April 18-May 31 alone, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed on Friday.

On Average, 45 Children Are Separated From Their Parents Every Day

John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

With the number of children being separated from their parents drastically increasing in recent weeks, about 45 children are now being put in detention centers without their parents each day, according to Vox.

This Texas "Tent City" Has 450 Beds For Kids

John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) built a "tent city" in Tornillo, Texas to hold the overflow of immigrant children who are no longer with their parents. The "tent city" will hold 450 beds for children, NBC News reports.

11,000 Immigrant Children Are Currently In Government Shelters

John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Roughly 11,000 children are currently in federal shelters, an HHS spokesperson told The New York Times this month. That number includes children who arrived in the United States without a parent (often expecting to join family already in the country) as well as those separated from their parents after crossing the border.

A Single Texas Courtroom Is Hearing 1,000 Illegal Entry Cases A Week

John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

A courtroom in McAllen, Texas has heard more than 1,000 misdemeanor cases related to illegally crossing the border every week since mid-May, The Houston Chronicle reports.

“It means we don’t have the time that we need to handle our felony cases,” Marjorie Meyers, federal public defender for the Southern District of Texas, told The Chronicle. “In McAllen, I don’t think it will be sustainable for us.”

ICE Arrests Rose 30 Percent In 2017

John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The number of arrests made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rose by 30 percent during the 2017 fiscal year, according to data from the Pew Research Center. The largest spikes happened in Florida, northern Texas, and Oklahoma.

ICE Arrests Of People With No Criminal Record Doubled In 2017, Too

John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Despite Trump's campaign promise to deport "bad hombres," immigrants with no criminal record are being detained at higher rates. ICE officials detained a total of 37,734 immigrants without a criminal record during the 2017 fiscal year, more than double the number of "noncriminal" immigrants arrested in 2016.

Detention Center Deaths Have Reached An Eight-Year High

Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Twelve immigrants detained in ICE facilities died last year — the most deaths since 2009, according to an investigation by The Houston Chronicle and the nonprofit Injustice Watch. Seven detained immigrants have died so far this year, including Huy Chi Tran, a 47-year-old Vietnamese man awaiting deportation. Tran was found unresponsive in an Arizona detention center on June 5.

65,000 Fewer Refugees Are Allowed Into The U.S. Each Year

Adam Berry/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Last September, President Trump announced his plan to lower the total number of refugees allowed in to the United States each year from 110,000 to 45,000. The number of refugees resettled in 2018 is expected to drop to its lowest level in over 30 years.

5,225 Refugees Were Admitted Into The U.S. In The First Three Months Of 2018

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Between January and March, 5,225 refugees were allowed into the country, according to the advocacy organization Global Citizen. The United Nations estimates that there are currently more than 65 million refugees worldwide.

These stark statistics show the Trump administration's hardline immigration policies have made it increasingly more difficult — and more dangerous — for both immigrants and refugees to come to the United States.