Immigrant deportations remain close to record high

New data from the Department of Homeland Security shows that 414,481 undocumented immigrants were deported by the Obama administration in the 2014 fiscal year. This is a fall of around 20,000 from the previous year. Pew Research analysis suggests that a total of 2.4 million immigrants were deported from the US between 2009 and 2014, including a record-breaking 435,000 in the 2013 fiscal year.

The fall is due to a significant decrease in the deportations of criminal immigrants, which fell from 199,000 in 2013 to 168,000 in 2014. This was a drop of 16 percent and the first recorded fall in such figures since records began in 1981. Some have attributed this decline to an increased focus in previous years on deporting criminal immigrants still at large. In 2014, though, there was also an increase in the number of local and state law enforcement agencies refusing to honor requests to detain jailed undocumented immigrants for deportation made by immigration authorities.

The immigration policy of the US has been one of the primary issues of this year’s Presidential election, becoming a focal point of the campaign of Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

The total number of deportations is expected to have fallen again during the 2015 fiscal year, according to preliminary data. The amount of deportations that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported from 2014 to 2015 has fallen by as much as 25 percent from 315,943 to 235,413.