I can think of a number of interpretations of this fact, but it’s interesting by any calculation. From Ruben Navarrette:
Guess what? There is a difference. It turns out that the Obama administration is much more aggressive about deportations than its predecessor. In this case, the “D” stands for duped.
According to internal memos obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting and The Washington Post, officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement were so eager to drive up the number of deportations beyond the level they were in Bush’s last year that they set quotas and spelled out how agents could meet them.
In a February memo, James M. Chaparro, head of ICE detention and removal operations, noted that the overall number of deportations for the year that ended in September 2009 was just over 310,000 – “well under the agency’s goal of 400,000.” Chaparro suggested increasing detention space to hold more illegal immigrants, sweeping prisons and jails to find likely deportees, and deporting illegal immigrants who committed only minor violations.
All this despite an earlier assurance from John Morton, assistant homeland security secretary for ICE, that “we don’t have quotas anymore.”