U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has deported a lesser number of immigrants this year. 414,481 immigrants were deported by DHS in this fiscal year which is five percent lesser than the number of immigrants deported in 2013. Moreover, the number of immigrants apprehended at the border who were from Central America was more than those from Mexico.
According to the DHS authorities, this is the first time the border authorities have caught more immigrants from other countries and Central America than from Mexico. Immigration authorities at the border held only 229,178 Mexicans trying to enter illegally into the U.S. while it apprehended 257,473 individuals from other countries, most of them from Central America.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for enforcing the country’s civil laws and tracking down and detaining undocumented immigrants living here. This year the agency reassigned 200 agents to cut down on the number of immigrants illegally entering into the U.S. and to track those living in the country. According to ICE, there is a decline in deportations because the agency focused more on its interior enforcement operations and on holding immigrants who had criminal records and who posed a threat to national security. In 2014, most of the deportees had criminal records.
DHS authorities say that the local and state police agencies refused to hold immigrants who were arrested through the Secure Communities program. This program enables law enforcement authorities to check the immigration status of everyone they arrest for a crime. “Detainers” will be placed on the undocumented immigrants held through Secure Communities. These detainers will help ICE agents to pick up undocumented immigrants held by the police agencies. 10,182 such immigrants, who the 250 law enforcement agencies refused to hold, were released before they were picked up by ICE. This is another reason why there is a drop in deportations. Some believe that the drop in deportations is due to President Obama’s new immigration reform rule that requires the law enforcement authorities to hold undocumented immigrants who have serious criminal records and not those who have not committed crimes.