Today U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released its report showing that immigrant deportations have decreased for the first time since President Obama took office. The news isn’t pleasing to those on the far left and the far right of the immigration debate, but it does signal that the Obama administration may be relenting slightly on its tough deportation stance, which has resulted in almost 2 million individuals being deported since 2008.
In 2012 409,849 immigrants were removed by ICE – a record high. This year, ICE reports removals dropped to 368,644. Deportation supporters on the far right are positioning this as a symptom of an ineffective administration incapable of enforcing the law, and many immigration reform advocates say that 368,644 is still an abysmally high number.
Deportations have become a hot topic recently after the President was heckled about his record removals of undocumented immigrants. The recent Fast 4 Families campaign was orchestrated nationwide in November to demonstrate solidarity with U.S. families torn apart by deportations and promote a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
In the report, ICE says that 82% of interior removals were for immigrants previously charged with a crime, though they don’t indicate the nature or severity of these previous crime(s). There have already been multiple formal directives issued to ICE over the last year to ensure that only serious criminals are deported, but many low-risk immigrants are still being deported. Immigrant advocates argue that with programs like Deferred Action and Parole in Place, deportations should be much, much lower than they currently are.
The ICE numbers came right after PewResearch released a report today that Hispanic and Asian Americans as a whole see relief from deportations as an even more pressing issue than implementing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. 55% vs. 35% of Hispanics believe stopping deportations is more important and 49% vs. 44% of Asian Americans. These results will draw even more attention to the deportation debate that is now being discussed hand in hand with immigration reform.
The post ICE reports first drop in immigrant deportations in years appeared first on VISANOW Global Immigration.