The leaders of some immigrants’ rights groups contend that President Barack Obama earned the moniker “deporter-in-chief because his administration deported so many undocumented immigrants for much of his time as the head of the Executive Branch. But to many of his political opponents, the President has been too lax in his enforcement of immigration laws in this country. Both of these things cannot logically be true. In order to truly analyze the policies of this administration regarding deportations and border security, it is necessary to ask when and where such deportations have taken place.
It is true that, for several years of his presidency, the Department of Homeland Security oversaw the deportations of record numbers of individuals. It was estimated last March that the number would exceed two million by April (eight months ago) of this year. But it also true that, for most of 2014, there has been a marked decrease in the number of deportations. Immigration agents removed 315,943 people in the year that ended Sept. 30, a 14% drop and the lowest total since President Obama took office, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) draft report.
As the President’s term has progressed, higher percentages of those deported are apprehended right at the border. In this draft report, it indicates about 2/3rds of those deported during that fiscal year were sent back home after being caught trying to breach the border. Less law enforcement resources are being used to send home immigrants taken in to custody in other parts of the country. Only those undocumented residents who commit serious crimes are now being deported. This corresponds with the fact that only 102,000 people were sent out of the U.S. from these so-called interior removals — a 23% drop from 2013, and fewer than half the number of people so deported in 2011.
The shifting policy towards deportations at the border stems from two policy goals. First, it represents a more efficient allocation of limited law enforcement resources. If you want to catch fish, go to where the fish are. The costs of finding, holding and transporting such individuals from the interior of the country are much higher than deporting people caught at the border as the resources at the border are already in place. Second, the President has been influenced by immigrants’ rights groups and has sought to address their concerns by reducing deportations of family members of citizens and legal residents.
The Shulman Law Group endeavors to ensure its clients be kept abreast of all significant developments relating to the process of immigration to the United States, including the manner in which parallel legal proceedings may impact immigrants.. Edward Shulman, Esq, founder of The Shulman Law Group, LLC is a national speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice. In the course of Mr. Shulman’s involvement with AILA, he has been dedicated to educating other immigration attorneys about the import of helping intending immigrants to navigate a new cultural system. He meticulously follows all of the developments occurring in the battle over immigration reform so that he will be prepared to effectively assist his clients obtain residency if a new system is enacted.