According to a report generated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, the number of illegal immigrants who have been deported has dropped by almost 20 percent since 2007. The news comes as President Obama continues to delay taking action on immigration reform and thereby allowing for deportation numbers to keep dropping. During the ten months between early October and late July, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency deported just over 258,600 undocumented immigrants compared to just over 320,000 during the same period the year before. The year before that, there were 344,600 deportations. All of this points to a consistent decrease in the number of people being sent home after illegally entering this country or, perhaps more telling, an increase in the number of illegals who are being allowed to stay.
2 Million Deported Since 2009
During the first half of 2014, the President said he would be taking matters regarding immigration reform into his own hands and slow the number of deportations. Recently, however, he has said that he won’t be taking any action on the matter until after the elections in November and more likely not until early 2015. For immigration advocates, this is good news but they still expect that when Obama finally does take action that it will be in such a way that the policy changes will allow for even fewer deportations. Since tenure began in 2009, the President has had over 2 million immigrants deported. But what exactly accounts for the consistently decreasing numbers of immigrants being deported over the last several years?
In 2011, President Obama made the decision to target for deportation mostly those immigrants who have serious criminal records or those who are considered to be a substantial threat to public safety or to national security. Additionally, illegals who overstayed their visas or who had simply crossed the border illegally could end up in the immigration court system for indefinite amounts of time. In August of 2014 there were more than 400,000 backlogged cases of illegal immigrants in the US federal immigration court system. Orders from a federal judge to issue a deportation order can take years which means that many immigrants will be able to stay for extended periods without documentation.
Central Americans Causing Big Problems
The influx of unprecedented numbers of illegals coming from Central American countries like Honduras and Nicaragua has also caused a problem for the US immigration court system. In addition to the sheer number of cases, the fact that these individuals are coming from farther away means that deporting them requires the US to provide air transportation back to their home country as opposed to just sending them back across the Mexican border as is done with Mexican nationals. As a result, holding facilities are becoming overcrowded and Homeland Security is left with little choice but to allow many Central Americans who have crossed over illegally to stay with relatives who are living in the country until their court appearance.
If you or someone you know is in need of legal counsel regarding an immigration issue, please contact the immigration attorney at the Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas or call their offices at 512-215-5225.