Nearly 369,000 Immigrants Deported in 2013: Were They Removed on Fair Grounds?

Since President Obama was elected in 2008, the Obama administration has deported over 1.9 million people – more than any other administration in U.S. history.  However, despite this record breaking number, deportations dropped 10% in 2013 compared to 2012. 

While the Obama administration made a slow start reducing the amount of overall deportations, it seems the numbers are finally supporting Obama’s promise to immigrants when he took office – that he would make the deportation process more just and empathetic.

With 369,000 immigrants deported in 2013, people with expiring green cards and illegal statuses probably won’t be relaxing about the matter of deportation anytime soon.

But there’s some relief for law-abiding immigrants when investigating the number.

Out of the 368,644 illegal immigrants deported in 2013, 60 percent were convicted criminals.  These criminals were broken down into two categories:

  • Category 1: Immigrants who convicted a crime within the U.S. (110,115)
  • Category 2: Immigrants who tried to enter or re-enter the U.S. illegally (106,695)

Category 2 is straightforward enough, indicating that immigrants deported were those who attempted to illegally cross the country’s border, but Category 1 is more obscure.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the principal investigative arm of Homeland Security responsible for removals, says that the crimes committed were worthy of deportation.  But advocates for immigration rights like Pablo Alvarado, executive director of National Day Laborer Organizing Network, thinks otherwise in some cases.

“It’s easy for the [Obama] administration to say that those deported fit their priorities when the White House has practically made sneezing a criminal act for immigrants,” Alvarado told a reporter for New America Media.

People like Alvarado are also skeptical about other things, like where the 40 percent of immigrants outside Categories 1 and 2 fall.  Some believe that a part of this percentage may involve immigrants who apply for green cards and call too much attention to themselves.  Although they’re not guilty of any immediate crimes, they are treated much like illegal immigrants who have committed crimes like drunk driving.

While ICE is hesitant to say what kinds of immigrants are included in the 40 percent, they’re direct with their statistics related to the country of origin of those removed.  From the 368,644 immigrants deported, the majority were from the following countries:

  •          Mexico (241,493)
  •          Guatemala (47,769)
  •          Honduras (37,049)
  •          El Salvador (21,602)
  •          and the Dominican Republic (2,462)

If you’re from one of these countries that are high on ICE’s list, The McGregor Firm may be able to help you make a justifiable case for a green card and avoid deportation.  If you need legal assistance, learn how our green card lawyers can help you.