USA Today reports that 45% of the nearly 400,000 people deported by the Obama administration last fiscal year had no criminal records.
Here is a partial breakdown of the reported types of criminal deportations last year:
5,848 sexual offenses
44,653 drug-related offenses
35,927 driving under the influence
13,028 traffic offenses
Looks good on paper... but let's take a closer look at the statistics.
Syracuse University's TRAC immigration has put together an interactive chart that includes a breakdown of the fiscal year 2011 deportation numbers up to July 26, 2011. TRAC has determined that from January through June 2011, the proportion of deportation proceedings charging criminal violations has fallen below what we saw under the Bush administration.
In fact, TRAC's chart below demonstrates a recent sharp decline in criminal deportation proceedings in immigration courts.
From Obama's election up until July 26, 2011, 83.2% of all deportations instituted in immigration courts involve no criminal violations, and only 15.2% involve criminal violators. As for deportation proceedings based on national security concerns: 0.02%. So to do the math, under Obama four out of every five (82.8%) deportation proceedings do not involve any criminal grounds for removal, terrorism, or security risks.
Moreover, TRAC has determined that in the decade after 9/11 the actual number deportations aimed at criminals, national security threats and terrorists have all declined rather than increased, yet mere immigration violation deportation proceedings are skyrocketing.
Does this make you feel any safer?
Now in fairness, I don't know what the exact deportation statistics are after June 2011. That being said, this President's rhetoric that he is targeting criminal aliens for deportation simply is not reflected by the available statistics.
More "Change" you can believe in.
Thankfully, we have TRAC to sort it all out for us and keep the Obama administration honest.
Matthew Kolken is a trial lawyer with experience in all aspects of United States Immigration Law including Immigration Courts throughout the United States, and appellate practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Courts of Appeals. He is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York , the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.