Photo courtesy of Wonderlane via Flickr.

The U.S. Is Deporting A Record Amount Of People

Click for update, 3/14/2014: President Obama orders deportation review.

Citing a concern for families being torn apart by deportations, President Obama has called for a review of enforcement methods for illegal immigrants, according to the NY Times.

After six years in office, his administration has deported almost two million people – more than any other president.

The review will be performed by Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh C. Johnson, who has previously spoken out against setting annual number targets for deportations.

The United States is deporting more people than ever before – reaching a record of nearly 400,000 deportees in 2012 alone.

Those numbers don’t tell the full truth, as the administration was discovered by the Washington Post to have used “unusual methods,” such as rolling over numbers from a previous year, in order to increase the amount of reported deportations for political gains.

But it’s no secret that the amount of deportations have increased in the decade since the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency – a subset of the Department of Homeland Security – was created.

A chart created by Pew Research Center illustrates the growth:

Image courtesy of Pew Research Center.

Even in the years where the estimated illegal immigrant population shrunk due to the recession, the amount of deportations rose:

Estimates of the U.S. Unauthorized Immigrant Population, 1990-2012

Image courtesy of Pew Research Center.

Over the last five years, however, the ICE has focused on deporting convicted criminals, who made up 55% of the people deported in 2012:

Image courtesy of ICE.

This policy, however, has sometimes backfired, Atlantic magazine reports – leading to the detainment and deportation of otherwise law-abiding, long-time U.S. residents.

Additionally, aggressively enforced immigration policies has led to an increasing trend of migrant criminalization. Law enforcement increasingly treat unauthorized border crossing as a criminal, rather than civil, offense, sending thousands of people to jail before they are deported. Read about it in the next part of our bundle here:

Migrant Criminialization


Ole Skaar