Originally published by CNN
A businessman and father from Ohio. An Arizona mother. The Indiana husband of a Trump supporter. They were unassuming members of their community, parents of US citizens and undocumented. And they were deported by the Trump administration.
It's left many wondering why the US government is arresting and deporting a number of individuals who have often lived in the country for decades, checked in regularly with immigration officials and posed no danger to their community. Many have family members who are American citizens, including school-aged children.
President Donald Trump famously said in a presidential debate that his focus is getting the "bad hombres"
and the "bad, bad people" out first to secure the border, but one of his first actions after taking office was an executive order that effectively granted immigration agents the authority to arrest and detain any undocumented immigrant they wanted
Where the Obama administration focused deportation efforts almost exclusively on criminals and national security threats, as well as immigrants who recently arrived illegally, the Trump administration has also targeted immigrants with what are called final orders of removal -- an order from a judge that a person can be deported and has no more appeals left.
In Trump's first year, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 109,000 criminals and 46,000 people without criminal records -- a 171% increase in the number of non-criminal individuals arrested over 2016.
The Trump administration regularly says its focus is criminals and safety threats, but has also repeatedly made clear that no one in the country illegally will be exempted from enforcement.
"We target criminal aliens, but we're not going to exempt an entire class of (non)citizens," Department of Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton told reporters Wednesday.
"Setting enforcement priorities is not micromanagement, that's what every law enforcement agency does," agreed Cooper.
As for whether ICE was handcuffed during the Obama era, Saldana said that even in Trump's executive order, there is room for discretion.
"That's silly," Saldana said. "Can you imagine having 11, 12 million in the system? The cost would be extraordinary, so you have to make priorities and work that way. ... You can't sweep everybody into one category. Not everyone is a contributor to society, and not everyone is a criminal."
This story has been updated.