Obama administration tops its own deportation record

BY Ruth Tam  January 27, 2014 at 12:55 PM EST
Graphic by Pew Research Center

Graphic by Pew Research Center

In one term, the Obama Administration has deported roughly 80 percent the number of immigrants the George W. Bush administration deported in two.

In fiscal year 2012, 419,384 immigrants were deported from the U.S., beating the record of 392,862 in 2009. Based on data provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Obama administration has deported roughly 1.6 million immigrants between 2009 and 2012. The previous administration deported about two million between 2001 and 2008.

Statistics also show a record number of deportations of immigrants with a criminal background and an increase of deportations of immigrants with a non-criminal background from 2011. While data for 2013 is not yet available, part of the increase seen in 2012 could be due to the increase in apprehensions along the U.S. — Mexico border, which increased from 340,000 in 2011 to 365,000 in 2012.

Obama is expected to list immigration as one of his State of the Union address’ main talking points Tuesday. In last year’s speech, the president spoke positively of the nation’s immigrant population.

“Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants,” Obama said. “Now is the time to do it. Now is the time to get it done,” he added, referring to immigration policy reform.

In the months that followed Obama’s 2013 address, a comprehensive immigration reform bill emerged from the Senate but stalled in the House of Representatives in the fall. Though House Speaker John Boehner said the House had “no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate Bill,” he is said to be working with Republicans on a list of “principles” for immigration reform.