in Philadelphia, PA
At least 182 undocumented Kenyans living in the US were among thousands of immigrants arrested, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said in a press release.
The immigrants were seized because they had arrest records prior to applying for legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme.
DACA is a programme that allows immigrants brought in as children in the US, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred deportation.
The USCIS report covered 78 countries globally, with Mexico recording the highest number of illegal immigrants arrested at 91,272, while Mali, New Zealand, and Taiwan had the least number at 21.
A total of 118,371 foreigners were arrested, out of which 464 are of unknown descent.
Africa had 1,100 DACA applicants arrested with North America recording the highest number at 107,669, while Oceania had the least number at 88.
Kenya has the second-highest number among African countries behind Nigeria with 209 incarcerated persons.
“The release of this report reflects the agency’s ongoing focus on transparency. The report provides updated information on known arrests and apprehensions of DACA requestors. The data may include arrests that did not result in convictions or where the charges were dropped or otherwise dismissed,” said USCIS.
The DACA program was enacted under President Barack Obama administration in 2012 but his successor Donald Trump has threatened to end it.
DACA applicants must not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanour, or three or more ‘non-significant’ misdemeanours not arising from the same act. They are also expected to not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Editor's note: The story has been updated to correct erroneous statement that the Kenyans were arrested while applying to be included in the DACA programme. The correct position is that they had arrest records prior to applying for legal status.