Deportations Plummet With Dramatic Four-Year Decline

Deportations Plummet With Dramatic Four-Year Decline

Deportations Plummet With Dramatic Four-Year Decline

For the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. who otherwise stay out of trouble, the chances of being deported are less than 1 percent, according to new figures released by the Department of Homeland Security.

The new figures show a dramatic four-year decline in the number of deportations carried out by the Obama administration, from more than 409,000 in 2012 to just 235,000 in fiscal 2015.

The numbers represent the fewest deportations since 2006.

During President Obama’s first term, some Latino groups branded him the “deporter in chief” – yet other critics of the administration’s enforcement approach say the second-term figures show he’s anything but, as his executive actions and other policies take effect.

"It's a way to reduce your immigration enforcement without going through the legislative process of changing the law," said Claude Arnold, former Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in charge of Southern California, referring to those policies. "It's a way of doing a pseudo-amnesty without legislatively doing an amnesty."

Arnold stressed that deportation numbers are down in two key categories: criminals and interior enforcement.

On the first, Obama has emphasized throughout his two terms that he is focused on deporting “criminal aliens.” Yet the new numbers show criminal alien deportations declined 27 percent from last year, from 86,923 to 63,127 in 2015.

Interior enforcement refers to immigrants arrested away from the border or a port of entry. But of the 69,478 deported under that category, 91 percent were previously convicted of a crime. That means just 5,939 illegal immigrants – who had not otherwise committed a crime -- were deported from U.S. cities and towns in all of 2015.


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