The Obama administration is deporting fewer people than it did in 2011 or 2012, but has ousted more than 110,000 illegal immigrants this year who didn’t have criminal records, according to statistics that call into question the Obama administration’s public statements about its deportation policies.
Continued deportation of rank-and-file illegal immigrants is fueling outrage by advocacy groups that want the Obama administration to halt most deportations while Congress hashes out an immigration bill.
“DHS consistently misleads the public about who it is deporting,” said Jessica Karp, staff attorney at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “The Obama administration has created a ‘criminal immigrant’ boogeyman to justify unprecedented deportation levels. But when we look at the facts, again and again we see that the majority of those deported have no or only very minor misdemeanor convictions, including traffic offenses.”
Deportations have long been a contentious issue for the administration, which is trying to balance Republican demands that it enforce the law against Hispanic lawmakers and interest groups that say the president is deporting too many people already.
The latest numbers released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to The Washington Times show that so far in fiscal 2013, the administration has deported more than 110,000 illegal immigrants who had no criminal records.
Numbers compiled and released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a research group at Syracuse University, show the administration has begun pursuing deportation against about 100,000 people for immigration violations, rather than criminal charges, so far this year.
TRAC, which looks at federal filings in immigration courts, says 14.7 percent of removal cases filed by the administration this year have alleged criminal violations. That figure has dropped steadily from 16.6 percent in 2010.
Although the drop isn’t steep, the trend suggests that the administration is finding it increasingly difficult to meet its goal of deporting 400,000 people a year while focusing chiefly on the most dangerous immigrants.
Read more: THE WASHINGTON TIMES