Jeh Johnson, the Homeland Security Secretary, admitted on Tuesday that most of the deportation numbers from his department come from undocumented immigrants that are caught at the border rather than those from inside the United States, meaning that it is erroneous to compare the figures with deportations from under previous administrations such as George W Bush’s.
The Obama administration has claimed that it takes a tougher stance on illegal immigration than was the case with previous Presidents, resulting in strong criticism from advocates of immigrant rights, but they have also been attacked by Republicans, who claim that those deportation numbers have been inflated artificially due to the fact that over 50% were new arrivals that the US Border Patrol arrested on the border, which were not counted by previous administrations.
Texas Republican John Culberson said that “Under the Obama administration, more than half of those removals that were attributed to ICE are actually a result of Border Patrol arrests that wouldn’t have counted in previous administrations,” a fact Johnson has now confirmed. Under a one-on-one comparison with the Bush regime, therefore, deportations have actually fallen, something that will likely anger Republicans, while mollifying immigration activists.
Of the 368,000 immigrants removed from the United States last year, just 133,000 were the responsibility of ICE, meaning that the chances of an undocumented immigrant already living in the country being deported is below 1%, according to the Washington Times.