Deportations under Obama


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Between 1892 and 1997, a total of 2.1 million people were deported from the United States. A change in laws in 1996 permitted the number of deportees to increase from 70,000 in 1996 to 114,000 in 1997. In 1998, the number of deportees rose to 173,000. The numbers stayed fairly steady until 2003, when the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) infused more money into immigration law enforcement and 211,000 people were deported. From there the numbers have continued to rise – peaking at just over 400,000 in 2012. These numbers are unprecedented: by 2014 President Obama will have deported over 2 million people - more in six years than all people deported before 1997. However, there is more to this trend than these numbers. The content of policies has also changed. There have been relatively low numbers of returns as compared to removals, a reflection of a focus on interior enforcement. There has been a shift towards the deportation of convicted criminals. With these trends, unprecedented numbers of people have been separated from their families in the United States. Obama has not only deported more people than any President; he also has separated more families by focusing on interior enforcement.

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  • These numbers are unprecedented: by 2014 President Obama will have deported over 2 million people - more in six years than all people deported before 1997. However, there is more to this trend than these numbers. The proportion of returns to removals.Focus on criminal aliens.Increased deportation of parents of US citizens.
  • In 1996, there were 22 times as many returns as removals. This ratio has dropped continuously, and in 2011, for the first time since 1941, the United States removed more people than it returned.
  • Since 2008, we have witnessed a shift towards more ICE apprehensions. In 2002, ICE apprehensions accounted for 10% of all DHS apprehensions. By 2011, that figure was nearly 50%. Although illegal entries have declined, deportations have continued to rise because of funding for Police/ICE cooperation. ICE can’t do this alone, with only 5,000 agents on the ground.
  • CAP: 200,000 removals in 2011Scomm: 78,246287(g): 27,000 in 2010.NFOP: 1500
  • We can address this question by looking at ICE field offices that deport people. There are 25 ICE field offices responsible for deportations. Of these, five include jurisdictions along the southern border: El Paso, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, and San Diego. The remainder operate in the interior of the United States.
  • Whereas deportations are concentrated in the southern field offices, this is not the same for the Criminal Alien charging documents. For example, in 2011, 36,195 people were deported via the El Paso office. In that same year, there were only 4429 CAP charging documents issued in El Paso - a ratio of 0.12. Compare that to New York City, where 3,522 people were deported, yet 7267 CAP charging documents were issued - a ratio of 2.09.
  • Conclusion*This brief analysis provides some evidence that the focus on criminal deportations has led to enhanced interior enforcement, and that this in turn is the reason so many parents of U.S. citizens are being deported. It would be useful to get a handle on how and why enforcement has changed. One of the most important changes appears to have happened in 2008, when ICE apprehensions shot up from 84,000 to 320,000. What happened within ICE to provoke this change? Many pro-immigrant Obama supporters would like to know if the unprecedented numbers of deportations that have happened under his watch are due to his actions or to those of Congress or other parties. The most marked changes appear to have happened in 2008, the year before Obama was elected. However, President Obama has chosen to continue on the path set by the Bush administration. For example, President Obama appointed Janet Napolitano as Secretary of DHS, and she has made it her mission to achieve a quota of 400,000 deportees a year, even as fewer immigrants have come to the United States illegally. Obama has made it clear that he wants DHS to focus on criminal deportations. This commitment has led to increased Police/ICE cooperation, which has torn millions of immigrants from their homes.
  • Deportations under Obama

    1. 1. +Mapping the Shift from Border to InteriorEnforcement of Immigration Laws since 2008 Tanya Golash-Boza University of California, Merced
    2. 2. + Over 400,000 deportations in 2012 Removals: 1993-2011 450000 400000 350000 300000 250000 200000 150000 100000 50000 0
    3. 3. + Returns and Removals: 1927-2011 1,800,000 1,600,000 1,400,000 1,200,000 1,000,000 Removals 800,000 Returns 600,000 400,000 200,000 0 1927 1930 1933 1936 1939 1942 1945 1948 1951 1954 1957 1960 1963 1966 1969 1972 1975 1978 1981 1984 1987 1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 2011
    4. 4. + ICE v. Border Patrol Apprehensions 2002 to 2011 1,400,000 1,200,000 1,000,000 800,000 ICE 600,000 Border Patrol 400,000 200,000 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
    5. 5. + Focus on “criminal aliens” 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000 0 Criminal Alien Secure 287 (g) NFOP Program Communities
    6. 6. + Criminal Removals, 2011 Sexual Family offenses, Assault, 2961 3572 All other, Robbery, 3745 27889 Burglary, 3795 Drugs, 43262 Fraud, 4218 Larceny, 5705 Traffic, 43022 Assault, 12755 Immigra on, 37458
    7. 7. + 10-fold increase in deportation of people with US citizen childrenBetween July1, 2010, and Sept.30, 2012, nearly aquarter of alldeportations—or, 204,810deportations—involved parents withU.S. citizen children.
    8. 8. + Is there a relationship between interior enforcement & the focus on criminal deportations?
    9. 9. + ICE Field offices: 5 along the southern border.
    10. 10. + Criminal Alien Program mostly involves removals from ICE offices not along the Southern Border. CAP TotalField offices: 2011 Charging Ratio removals documentsAll field offices 396,906 211,623 0.53Southern Border offices 208,940 47,186 0.23No Southern Border 187,966 164,437 0.87
    11. 11. + Conclusions  It appears that the focus on criminal deportations has led to enhanced interior enforcement and more family separations.  However, many questions remain open…  Ideas for digging deeper?
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