US to deport fewest immigrants for seven years

DeportationFewer undocumented immigrants are set to be deported from the United States this year than in any year since 2007, despite the decision by President Obama to postpone taking executive action on the issue of immigration reform until after the midterm elections in November.

The Associated Press says that an analysis of figures provided by the Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for deporting undocumented immigrants, shows that 258,608 such individuals were sent home between October 2013 and July 28th this year.  In the same period in the previous year, 320,167 people were removed, meaning that deportations have fallen by almost 20%.  344,624 immigrants were deported in the period to July 2012, which is 25% more than this year’s figure.

The figures display a marked fall in the number of deportations despite Obama’s reluctance to take executive action on immigration reform until after the midterm elections, which is expected to result in even fewer deportations.  Many of his supporters have been vocally unhappy with the president’s decision to delay, resulting in him sending chief of staff Denis McDonough to reassure Latino lawmakers about his intentions last week.

Among the reasons why fewer immigrants are being deported is the decision taken by the Obama administration in the summer of 2011 to focus its deportation endeavors on criminal immigrants posing a threat to public safety or national security.