The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency significantly reduced its enforcement activity in 2014, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies. The total number of deportations recorded by ICE dropped 15 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to the report. Deportations made from the interior of the United States (versus enforcement actions at the border) reportedly dropped 34 percent since last year, and are down 59 percent from their peak, when the Obama administration took office in 2009.
The Obama administration has touted, in some circumstances, its aggressive record on deporting illegal immigrants, citing the high number of “removals” it’s carried out, but this report calls that into question. The report says nearly 900,000 illegal immigrants who still live in the United States, including approximately 167,000 aliens with criminal convictions, have received a final order of removal and have not been deported.
Meanwhile, even going by the administration’s numbers, enforcement levels seem to have been dropping since 2011. In September, President Obama was reportedly on pace to deport the fewest number of illegal immigrants since at least 2007, according to an Associated Press report.
Some enforcement resources have been diverted to deal with the sudden influx of Central American immigrants on the southern border this summer, but this doesn’t explain the reduction in deportations this year, the report argues, because that drop is consistent with an ongoing trend and explicit Obama administration policies.