According to EFE, officials at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that between the beginning of the current fiscal year on October 1, 2013, and July 28 of this year, ICE deported 258,608 immigrants.
Deportations from the US have dropped 20% over the past 10 months compared with the same period last year, to reach their lowest level since at least 2007 and represent the largest decline since Barack Obama has been in office, officials said.
The 258,608 deportations represents a significant drop of around 20% compared with the same period in fiscal year 2013, when 320,167 people were expelled, the officials said, asking for anonymity.
Though ICE has not yet released an official figure for deportations in fiscal year 2014, which ends on September 30, estimates released Friday are the lowest since 2007 when there were 291,060 deportations, according to official data.
COMMENT: President Obama has been called the “deporter-in-chief” by immigrant advocacy groups because deportations have surpassed a record 2 million during his presidency, though his administration seems to have renounced that practice as the chief executive studies possible executive action to ease the situation of the undocumented in the US.
Asked about the decline in deportations, the White House said that a possible cause could be Obama’s measures to shift resources to border regions to deal with the massive arrival of unaccompanied Central American minors.
Another probable cause is that, since the Obama Administration decided in 2011 to focus on expelling undocumented immigrants with criminal records, other cases in the immigration courts have been delayed and, according to some studies, it now takes several years to order every deportation.
ICE noted that another factor that contributes to changes in immigration patterns, suggests that the deportation of Central Americans has increased and that of Mexicans has decreased.
“The expulsion of citizens who are not Mexicans requires more time to obtain travel documents and to schedule flights,” an ICE official told EFE.