President Barack Obama's administration deported 409,849 people during fiscal year 2012 (October 2011 - September 2012), nearly 13,000 more than the previous year. This, despite announcing in mid-2011 that it would suspend the deportation of 300,000 undocumented immigrants in the process of being removed from the country while it made an evaluation of each case to focus efforts on high-priority cases.
In August of last year, John Morton, the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) assured that his agency would focus on the removal of convicted criminals and those who may pose a threat to national security or public safety.
According to figures released today by ICE, of the 409,849 people deported, 225,390 - just over half - were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors. Here are some of the numbers of aliens sentenced according to crimes in fiscal year 2012:
Homicide: 1,215 foreigners
Sexual crimes: 5,557 foreigners
Drug-related offenses: 40,448 foreigners
Driving under the influence (intoxicated): 36,166 foreign nationals
By comparison, in fiscal year 2011, ICE deported 396,906 individuals, of whom 216,698 were convicted of committing crimes or offenses, including:
sentenced for homicide: 1,119 foreigners
sentenced for sexual offenses: 5,848 foreign nationals
sentenced for drug-related offenses: 44,653 foreign nationals
sentenced for driving under the influence of intoxicants: 35,927 foreigners
As we can see, there was an increase in the number of deportations from 2011 to 2012 - after the announcement of the use of "prosecutorial discretion" to evaluate cases and process undocumented immigrants with serious criminal records more quickly.
In addition to submitting its report on the number of deportees in fiscal year 2012, ICE issued a new national guide for the issuance of notices requiring the cooperation of local law enforcement agencies in gathering information on undocumented persons and assisting in their apprehension. This guidance restricts the use of detainers against individuals arrested for minor offenses, such as traffic violations, to devote available resources to apprehend convicted criminals, serial offenders, and other ICE priorities.
ICE also announced that they will not renew agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies for the controversial 287(g) immigration program, which allowed them to perform immigration enforcement work.
ICE considers other programs, such as Secure Communities, to be a more efficient use of its resources to focus on high-priority cases.