Immigration arrests at Mexican border plummet

Posted at 8:33 PM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-05 00:10:36-04

Even with the immigration crackdown, arrests continue to plummet at the Mexican border by the thousands, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say there have been 25 arrests of illegal immigrants in Oklahoma since President Donald Trump took office. They say 18 people arrested are from Oklahoma City and seven are from Tulsa, and those numbers mark a drastic decrease from previous years.

The phones at Sobel and Erwin law office constantly ring.  

"Since Trump went into office, there's been a lot of concern," Tulsa immigration lawyer Eddie Erwin said.

Each phone call is a different story.

"It's great when you can help people," Erwin said. "It's great when you can help different generations and help someone get here and now you're getting your parents here legally."

The Department of Homeland Security said new numbers show fewer people are trying to sneak into the U.S.

"A lot of people are being detained by ICE, a lot of people that might have been out on bond in the past are not getting bond," Erwin said. 

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told a senate panel that nearly 13,000 people were caught crossing the border in March. He says 58,000 were detained in February. That's the lowest monthly figure in 17 years.

"Sometimes people are being forced to return to a country where it's really scary and even in some cases where they fear death, and we have to explain to them that there is no other option," Erwin said. 

Erwin says his office wants to keep as many people in the country as they can but legally. He says that's not always the case.

"Maybe they don't always qualify for asylum and of course those are hard conversations," he said. 

Erwin says society is quick too quick to judge.

"There's a public perception that 'why don't people want to become legal?'" he said. "Why don't they want to become citizens? In a lot of cases, there is just no way legally they just don't fit in to that system."

While the Tulsa lawyer says the decrease in illegal immigrants is a positive change, he says there's still a long ways to go.

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