The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deported nearly 400,000 illegal immigrants during the 2011 fiscal year, which just ended in September. This has set a new record for the largest number of deportees in the agency’s history.
Under the Obama administration, Homeland Security announced new priorities to focus deportations of illegal immigrants on the following subgroups of people: convicted criminals, people who are potential national security threats, and people who have repeatedly crossed the border after having been asked to leave.
According to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 55 percent of the 396,906 deported illegal immigrants were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, and that the number of people convicted of crimes had increased by 89 percent since the 2008 fiscal year. It is considered a felony if an illegal immigrant returns to the United States or is found in the country after already having been asked to leave.
Included among the crimes of the almost 400,000 deported illegal immigrants were 5,800 sexual offenses, 80,000 drug-related and driving under the influence offenses, and 1,000 homicides.
Director of The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement John Morton stated that these figures were symbolic of the Obama administration’s “focus on sensible immigration.”
The number of deported illegal immigrants has increased from 116,782 in 2000. When President Obama assumed office, the percentage of criminal deportations was at 31 percent. The President endorsed the DREAM Act last year, which would have granted legal status to some children of illegal immigrants, but Congress rejected the Act.