Almost a million criminal immigrants remain in the US

Around 925,000 undocumented immigrants targeted for deportation were still living in the US, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) statistics from 2015. But, according to a study from the Department of Homeland Security, the real figure is over twice that number, at 1.9 million, when applied to all undocumented immigrants who have criminal records.

There are as many as 925,193 undocumented immigrants who have managed to avoid a scheduled deportation. According to ICE, figures show that 179,040 had some form of criminal conviction and 172,135 were still at large. 19,723 criminal immigrants were released into the US again in 2015 alone. This included over 900 with convictions for sex crimes and 208 convicted of murder, ICE figures show. Those 19,723 undocumented immigrants were responsible for as many as 64,197 criminal convictions.

The number of undocumented immigrants targeted for deportation increased by 20 percent between 2012 and 2015, but many went underground before the deportation orders were executed. ICE has been instructed to concentrate its efforts only on those responsible for the most serious criminal offenses. President Donald Trump has issued several executive orders relating to illegal immigration since taking office on 20 January.

Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies says that it will take a few years to fix the problem, even after Trump’s stricter new policies, which have been criticized as extreme and unnecessarily harsh by many Democrats and immigrant advocates.