Number of Deportation Cases Drops by Nearly a Third, Report Says

Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2012

The number of deportation cases filed by federal immigration officials dropped by nearly a third in the first three months of the fiscal year, according to a report by the Syracuse University Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

The drop recorded in the last three months of 2011 may reflect the Obama administration’s plan to focus its deportation efforts by weighing a variety of discretionary factors, including whether the person is a veteran, came to the U.S. as a child or is a college student, according to the report. But experts said it’s too soon to say if deportations overall will decline.

From October through December, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement initiated 39,331 deportation cases in immigration court, down from 58,639 the previous quarter, the report says. Filings are typically lower during the holiday months, but even adjusted for the seasonal drop-off the numbers are significantly lower, according to the authors.

Immigration officials said they have not had the opportunity to review the data to verify their accuracy but added that the numbers don’t fully encompass the ways in which a person can be deported. The report, said ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen, is focused only on submissions for deportations made to immigration courts.

“It ignores the fact that ICE regularly removes individuals without going through formal [immigration court] proceedings utilizing voluntary, administrative, expedited and stipulated removals as well the reinstatement of old removal orders,” she said.


Some immigration attorneys said they have started to see a change in the types of cases the government pursues.

“It’s too early for me to say it’s a trend,” said Carl Shusterman, a Los Angeles-based immigration attorney and former trial attorney for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. “But it is something I didn’t necessarily get in the past.

“Before, if you had these Dream Act students and we wanted to keep them in the U.S., I’d have to go to a congressman and beg for a private bill. Now I can just go to a deportation officer who has the case and say, ‘You know this person falls within these prosecutorial discretion guidelines. You don’t really want to deport them, do you?’ And they’ll agree with you. That is a sea change.”


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  • But but but King Eggplant told me we had “record number of deportations!”

    Dubya told me the same thing, too. Now think though, are there more or less browns here than there were 12 years ago?

    How could this be? Unless the record numbers of deportations thing was just election year b.s.
    Nah, the elite would never lie.

  • Hirschibold

    For those who rail against a tapering off in deportations, I should point out that it is not enough to have dead people/ convicts voting (multiple times) for Obama. Illegals are part of the equation, too. Remember, as my old lacrosse coach used to tell me “There is no ‘I’ in team.”

    • ageofknowledge

      “I have said that Mexico does not stop at its border, that wherever there is a Mexican, there is Mexico,” -Felipe Calderón.

      “Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison. Immigrants who are deported and attempt to re-enter can be imprisoned for 10 years. Visa violators can be sentenced to six-year terms. Mexicans who help illegal immigrants are considered criminals.
      The law also says Mexico can deport foreigners who are deemed detrimental to ‘economic or national interests,’ violate Mexican law, are not ‘physically or mentally healthy’ or lack the ‘necessary funds for their sustenance’ and for their dependents.

      ‘This sounds like the kind of law that a rational nation would have to protect itself against illegal immigrants — that would stop and punish the very people who are violating the law.’” – Steve King of Iowa, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, citizenship, refugees, border security and international law.

      • Anan7

        Well said!  We should all write our respective Congressmen and Senators to introduce a Mexican-style immigration law here in the United States.

        I plan on doing so today.

  • crystal evans

    These represent those who were targeted for deportation but due to a large amount of public outcry, their deportation orders were deferred. A good example of this are illegal alien students who would benefit if the Dream Act aka Nightmare Act were passed.

  • Unfortunatley the spinless, cowardly republicans cower in fear of even mentioning this fact. Any candidate that makes illegal immigration could beat obama by a landslide.

  • I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how Obama can modify or outright ignore existing immigration law without going before Congress to change the law. Moreover, why are the Republicans in Congress allowing him to do it with little effort to stop him. One has to wonder if they agree with his efforts to thawrt existing immigration law.

    • John Maddox

       One of the greatest mistakes that this country ever made was electing a black President in the first place. This is an election year and no Congressman is going to take Obama to task for fear of being called the ‘r’ word. Lets face it the Democrats want to build a voter block that will assure them a victory in the next election. Obama has already violated his oath of office on numerous occasions, but that is relative to an originalist understanding of the Constitution.
      We all have to remember that Obama is a member of an elite group of academics and intellectuals who view the Constitution as an anachronism that gives the judiciary free reign to make it mean anything that they want it to mean and no one is going to take them to task for it because, just to be honest, most of the members of Congress don’t have a clue either.

  • ageofknowledge

    If every illegal left this country tomorrow, it would take generations to clean up the millions of anchor gangmembers and criminals they left behind American citizens have to pay to incarcerate and parole.

    Only the dregs come here illegally, the ones that can’t make it in their own countries.

  • bluffcreek1967

    A local cop recently told me that years ago when he stopped a car with Mexican illegal aliens inside, they were relatively docile, shy and almost embarrassed by their alien status. But not anymore! He said the illegal aliens are so brazen and confrontational now. They even argue with the officers on scene when their car is about to be towed for 30 days because they don’t have a driver’s license. Their entire mentality is one of ‘We belong here’ and ‘We have rights,’ etc. These people have no shame for their crimes and absolutely no respect for our laws. Yet so many Americans (mostly naive White liberals and Mexican-Americans) want to bring hordes of them into our country. How foolish we are!

    • This is what happens when you have a government who incessantly panders to criminal invaders, telling them they have “rights” and how important they are to the future of
      this country. A government who refuses to enforce our immigration laws and
      actually has the gumption to take any state to federal court, which dare enact
      laws to protect themselves from this Mexican invasion.

      Add to the situation a multitude of “immigrant advocacy” groups, working tirelessly on
      behalf of invading criminals, to aid and abet their illegal presence in this
      country; and you get an explosive reaction from an already volatile group of
      uneducated, ignorant invaders.

      Local cops end up having to confront hostile, militant Mexicans, with zero respect for our country or laws, who actually believe they have a “right” to be here and any effort to
      enforce the law against them is “racist.”

  • John Maddox

    This whole thing could have been stopped during the Reagan years if someone had had enough courage and fore site to put boots on the border then. The fact is that we have been betrayed by all our elected officials for decades. But as we all know no one wants to insult our good neighbors south of the border that would be absolutely unthinkable.

  • ageofknowledge

    How does this work? Does the President just issue an internal memo telling them to stop deporting illegal aliens?