According to a recent article from the the Associated Press, the Obama administration is set to remove the lowest number of undocumented aliens since 2006.
Continuing the Trend of Low Removals
As recently as April 20, 2015, immigration officials at the federal level pursued and finalized the removal of approximately 120,000+ individuals. This number is in line with the second term of George W. Bush (Jr.), historically the lowest number of removals. If the Obama administration continues its current trend, the number of removals would be even lower than that of the Bush Administration.
The Focus of Homeland Security
According to recent statements from Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, the continued focus of DHS’s efforts is to deter criminal activities and removal undocumented illegal aliens who are considered a threat to the U.S. Figures provided in recent internal weekly reports (not publicly reported) state that on average, there have been 19,000 removals per month stating the beginning of the fiscal year in October. If trends continue, projected removals could be 236,000 by September, which would be the lowest since 2006.
Injunction on Immigration Reform Continues
President Obama’s announcement on executive action began past November. Although the potential reform is promising and would provide deportation deferral for millions of undocumented aliens currently residing in the United States,. Though the Department of Justice has filed an appeal to lift the injunction, a federal judge in Texas continues to halt progress. Although expanded deferred action has not yet been signed into law, there are numerous other ways that individuals could potentially pursue, should they fit various eligibility requirements. To learn more about forms of relief from removal for adults and minors, review our articles:
Change in Undocumented Arrivals
The change in removals could be contributed in part due to the change in source of arrival of undocumented aliens. Due to larger influx of of undocumented aliens from Central American countries such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. This has provided reason for ICE to readjust efforts by shifting focus to the border and rapidly deploying agents to newly opened family detention centers.
Central American Minors (CAM) Program
A significant portion of the influx of undocumented aliens from Central American countries is undocumented minors. In order to adjust for this influx, the administration created and quietly promoted the recent Central American Minors (CAM) Program which can allow qualifying applicants to bring non-registered minors to the U.S. through a specialized process.
Opinions of a DHS Leader
When asked about these influxes, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson elaborated further by stating, “They are increasingly from noncontiguous countries, and the process of a removal of someone from a noncontiguous is more time-consuming.” He also added, “You see greater claims for humanitarian relief, for asylum, and so it’s not as simple as just sending somebody back across the border”.