News / USA

US Deports 2 Million Illegal Immigrants During Obama's Tenure

US Deports 2 Million Illegal Immigrants During Obama's Tenurei
X
Kent Klein
April 24, 2014 12:40 AM
The United States has deported about 2 million illegal immigrants in the five years since President Barack Obama took office. As VOA's Kent Klein reports, some Americans say the administration is too aggressive in enforcing immigration law, while others say it's not aggressive enough.
Kent Klein
The United States has deported about 2 million illegal immigrants in the five years since President Barack Obama took office.  Some Americans say the administration is too aggressive in enforcing immigration law, while others say it's not aggressive enough.

The Obama administration is removing illegal immigrants from the country in record numbers, according to Greg Chen, at the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

"Those numbers, under both Presidents Bush and Obama, have increased steadily in the past decade and are currently at a real high point.  So overall, it's important to recognize that the administration has been incredibly robust in its enforcement practices," said Greg Chen, from the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

But overall deportation numbers are down, says Jon Feere, at the Center for Immigration Studies.

"What we need to see is a serious commitment to immigration enforcement.  We need to see deportation numbers actually going up, instead of going down, as they are now.  But thus far, the White House just doesn't seem all that serious about immigration enforcement," said Feere.

How can the same numbers be seen so differently?  Because of the difference between what the government calls "returns" and "removals."  The number of returns - immigrants apprehended at the border and sent back home - has plummeted in the past decade.  Meanwhile, removals - immigrants formally expelled and barred from returning - have risen to an all-time high.

Jon Feere is concerned that the combined total of returns and removals is down.

"So if you're looking at this idea of removals, which is a type of deportation, the numbers do appear to be going up slightly.  But if you look at overall deportation numbers, which is removals plus returns, which occur along the border, you see that the numbers are actually going down," he said.

But Greg Chen says the government is still getting tough with illegal immigrants.

"The thing to recognize is that President Obama has increased the border presence and he has made the actual outcomes, the consequences of having been apprehended and deported out of the country, more severe by having a greater number of removals," he said.

However, longtime immigration lawyer Jim Tom Haynes, says fewer new deportation cases are making it to immigration courts, which have far more cases than they can handle.

"The cases that do get into the court are taking years to get through.  So I think that you have fewer deportations now simply because the courts can't process all this work," said Haynes.

Meanwhile, the debate over whether more or less enforcement is needed is likely to shape the course of legislation to reform the U.S. immigration system.  It may also affect the outcome of this November's congressional elections.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid