6:44pm December 22, 2012

ICE Removes 409,000 People, Renews Focus on ‘Criminals’


Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced annual deportation numbers — which set a new record high — and a renewed focus on “criminal offenders” this Friday.

Part of this focus is the release of a new national detainer guidance that “limits the use of detainers to individuals who meet the department’s enforcement priorities and restricts the use of detainers” against people with minor offenses, such as traffic violations. This change is attributed by some to the Obama Administration’s heeding the calls of immigration rights activists, that deporting someone for selling tamales on private property did not represent a national security threat, for example.

ICE’s new focus is meant to help the agency prioirtize deporting felons, repeat offenders and other unnamed ICE priorities, according to an agency statement.

In total ICE reported the deportation of 409,849 in fiscal year 2012. ICE noted that, of these, 225,390 or 55% of those removed had been convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, including 1,215 people convicted of homicide, 5,557 convicted of sexual offenses, 40,448 removed for drug-related crimes and 36,166 convicted of DUI.

“These numbers reflect the urgency with which our government needs to create a better immigration process,” Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, told USA Today.

ICE removed double the number of “criminals” this year than it did in 2008, according to a statement. As a matter of fact, 96% of deportations this year were part of ICE’s “priority categories,” a record high for the agency, according to a statement.

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network noted that ICE’s release represents a human rights failure on the agency’s part. “There is broad consensus that the criminalization of immigrants driven by ICE has led to a deep, nationwide human rights crisis. The fact that 409,000 families were separated this year should be evidence enough for the need to end programs like Secure Communities altogether,” said NDLON Executive Director Pablo Alvarado.

About the Author

Sara Inés Calderón
Sara Inés Calderón
Sara Inés Calderón is a journalist and writer bouncing between California and Texas.



Words vs. policy: why is Ricky Martin urging Latinos to unite against Trump?

This week singer Ricky Martin wrote an opinion piece urging Latinos “to unite against Donald Trump.” In reference to the GOP candidate throwing Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of a press conference, Martin wrote: &...
by Adriana Maestas


#Not1MoreDeportation campaign halts Operation Streamline proceedings

Immigration activists continue to push the Obama administration to halt deportations as the clock continues ticking for Congress to act on a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The #Not1MoreDeportation campaign is an effort ...
by Adriana Maestas

United We DREAM

Chorus to Halt Deportations Grows as Immigration Debate Continues

As the immigration debate continues in the Senate, issue organizations and now Congressional representatives are calling on the Obama administration to halt deportations to show good faith in its support of the Senate bill. The...
by Adriana Maestas


Dreamer Tolu Obama immigration

UPDATED: President Obama Pushes Congress on Immigration Reform

Today President Obama expressed his support for the bipartisan gang of eight immigration reform bill that has been making its way through the Senate. In an speech at the White House, where he was introduced by a DREAM Act eligi...
by Adriana Maestas

Immigrant detention

Missing the Detention & Deportation Forest for the Immigration Reform Tree

Seemingly lost in much of the congratulatory messaging surrounding the “Gang of 8″ immigration reform bill passing by a bipartisan vote of 13-5 from the Senate Judiciary Committee to the Senate floor is the continue...
by Maegan Ortiz



  1. [...] youth from being deported after months of public pressure by activists. Despite that reprieve, the administration has continued its record breaking deportations that have split up families. At the same time, criticisms by activists continue to maintain that [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>