Deportations Drop 73% Under Obama, Hit 43-Year Annual Low

Brittany M. Hughes | January 12, 2017
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Deportations of illegal aliens living inside the United States have tanked 73 percent since 2009, when President Obama first took office, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies.

CIS analyzed the most recent annual report released by the Department of Homeland Security, which states that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed only 65,332 illegal aliens from the interior of the U.S. in FY2016 (roughly .5 percent of the estimated 12 million currently known to be living here unlawfully).

The immigration analysis group noted that those 65,000 or so deportations reflect a 73 percent drop in interior removals since 2009, when roughly 240,000 illegal aliens were deported from inside the U.S.

CIS added that the number of criminal aliens ICE deports annually has decreased by about 60 percent over the last eight years. Last year, ICE reported they had removed 60,318 criminal aliens who’d been living inside the United States (which made up roughly 98 percent of the total number of interior deportations). CIS notes the number of criminal aliens removed dropped by about 4 percent between 2015 and 2016, and 60 percent from its peak in 2010, when about 150,000 criminal aliens were sent home.

CIS explains:

The main reason for the decline is the Obama administration's prioritization scheme that has steadily narrowed the types of cases that ICE officers are permitted to pursue. These policies have exempted all but the most egregious alien offenders from deportation. Currently only aliens convicted of felonies, significant misdemeanors, or three lesser misdemeanors are considered priorities, and exceptions are allowed in many cases, such as if the alien has acquired a family or other community ties here.

President Obama’s administration has become famous for claiming high numbers of deportations, stating that nearly 2 million unlawfully present aliens have been removed from the country over the past eight years. However, these “deportations” also included illegal aliens who were caught at the border and immediately sent home, a large category of aliens that, under previously administrations, were counted as “returns” rather than true “deportations.”

Omitting those people who are returned shortly after crossing into the U.S., ICE notes that true deportations of illegal aliens living in the country are at the lowest point seen since the Nixon administration.

In fact, when added together, CIS’s report revealed the Obama administration has deported only about 5.3 million illegal aliens compared with President George W. Bush’s 10.2 million. In the mid-to-late ‘90s, President Bill Clinton was responsible for deporting nearly 12.3 million illegals.

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