Critics dispute administration figures
By Miriam Raftery
January 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The Obama administration is on track to deport over 2 million people, according to a new report from the University of California-Merced. That’s about the same number deported under the Bush administration, but more than the U.S. deported during over a century from the late 1890s to the late 1990s.
On average, those deported had lived in the U.S. for 14 years, leading to concerns that the Criminal Alien Program is tearing apart families. A quarter of all people deported since mid-2010 are parents with children in the U.S., including parents of American citizens, the report concludes.
Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente.org, the largest national Latino online advocacy organization in the country, denounced the practice.
“DHS reports of continued record-breaking deportations by the Obama Administration come as no surprise to those of us who live and work in Latino communities where we hear daily stories of destroyed families, and cries of children whose hard-working parents have been ripped from their arms.”
He added, “Such continued disrespect of the Latino community raises the question, 'How long will Latinos continue to consider and treat President Obama as a "friend," when he destroys Latino families at a record-breaking pace? The DHS report runs polar opposite to opinion polls showing overwhelming Latino rejection of Obama's current immigration policies."
But conservatives in Congress have taken a hard line on immigration and deportation issues, insisting on stronger enforcement before considering immigration reforms.
Another report from the Migration Policy Institute noted that the U.S. spends more on immigration enforcement than on all other federal law enforcement combined. The policy is also costly. Human Rights Watch’s latest World Report found that “illegal re-entry into the U.S. has become the most prosecuted federal crime
Deportations reached a record 419,384 in fiscal year, U.S. Department of Homeland Security data indicates. Deportations rose both in people with and without criminal convictions. Some were for minor offenses. Nearly a quarter of those deported for crimes involved traffic offenses. Another quarter were for drug convictions and one in five were for immigration crimes such as illegal entry or re-entry to the U.S.
The number of border arrests (mostly at the U.S.-Mexico border), also rose to 365,000 in 2012.
Deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials dipped somewhat in 2013, recently released immigration enforcement statistics indicate, though final data for deportations including Customs and Border Protection as well as ICE are not yet available.
The high rate of deportations increase pressure on Congress to take action on comprehensive immigration reforms to address whether or not to extend legal status to the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, including many children and teens, living in the United States.
Editor's note: After publication, we received information challenging the data provided by other sources. They indicate the Obama administration changed its methodology for calculating deportations and this may have inflated the actual numbers. Here are links with arguments from critics of the administration on the deportation claims.
Obama blames Republicans for failure of immigration reform, says increase in deportations is misleading
Deportation Numbers Unwrapped: Raw Statistics Reveal the Real Story of ICE Enforcement in Decline
Deportations under Obama plunged to just 1 percent last year
Obama Administration Inflating Deportation Numbers Misleading classifications make it look like traditional deportations are up. They're not.