According to a recent CBS news report, federal immigration courts have ordered a record high number of immigrants removed from the United States in federal fiscal year 2018. When the fiscal year ended on September 30, 2018, immigration courts had ordered 287,741 deportations. These statistics were compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse of Syracuse University (TRAC), through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). TRAC further reported that this was the highest number of deportations since it began tracking these statistics in 1992.
A full 42.5% of the new deportations were based on “entry without inspection.” This category covers any immigrants without lawful status found in the U.S. who did not declare themselves present to U.S. immigration authorities. In contrast, just over 5% of the deportations were based upon the commission of aggravated felonies by immigrants, and 1.3% were based on possible terrorist ties. Statistics also showed that 73,339 or 26% of the immigrants newly ordered deported were from Mexico. Nearly half of the newly ordered deportations involved Central Americans coming from Guatemala, El Salvador, and the Honduras.
Texas immigration courts were the largest source of new deportation orders in federal fiscal year 2018, with over 60,000 new removals. Since 2008, Texas immigration courts have consistently produced the highest number of new removals each year.
Immigration advocates attribute the higher rate of deportations to not only increased immigration enforcement, but also to an executive order that greatly increased the number of immigrants eligible for immediate deportation, which is an expedited removal process with far less protections for immigrants. The same order barred sanctuary cities, although courts later ruled that portion of the order to be unconstitutional, and vastly expanded the criteria for deportation, which made just about every immigrant present in the U.S. deportable. As a result, the order eliminated the priority system that the Obama administration previously had put in place, which highly prioritized the deportation of immigrants who had committed crimes.
At Peek & Toland, we care about helping you obtain the visa that you need, based on your situation. We will focus our efforts on advocating on your behalf and representing your interests throughout the immigration process. Our knowledgeable immigration lawyers know the best strategies for gathering documentation to support your goals. Allow us to handle your immigration law case by sitting down with us today and discussing your situation.