In the past few months, immigration has been an increasingly hot topic discussed around dinner tables, law offices, school campuses and, especially, in the United States Congress.

According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 143,470 illegal immigrants were placed under administrative arrests in the United States during the 2017 fiscal year. That was a 30 percent increase from 110,104 in 2016.

ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations field office located in Detroit covers Michigan and Ohio, and reported 3,409 undocumented immigrants were subject to administrative arrests during the 2017 fiscal year and 3,203 individuals were deported in both states.

The numbers have increased compared to the same period in 2016, when there were a total of 2,241 arrests made and 2,056 illegal individuals were deported, according to ICE. Both the 2017 and 2016 fiscal years include illegal immigrants with and without criminal records.

While there hasn’t been a drastic increase in Michigan, Meghan Moore, an immigration attorney at Avanti Law Group PLLC located in Wyoming, said there is fear and panic in the region.

“ICE is everywhere, and they are much more active,” Moore said. “They are picking up people who don't have criminal records, and that is the biggest change we are seeing in West Michigan. People who have been here for many years, have children here, are being picked up and put into deportation proceedings, and that is something that did not happen previously.”

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