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Arrests and deportations of immigrants at unprecedented levels

The Department of Homeland Security has released a new report that says the number of undocumented immigrants arrested and deported last year hit record highs.

Published: Sep 20, 2012 11:00 am By: ALFONSO CHARDY - MIAMI HERALD

"According to the report, officials of various immigration agencies, including the Immigration and Customs Enforcement police, detained and deported an unprecedented number of undocumented immigrants during 2011 fiscal year.

Among the most important points in the report, titled Immigration Enforcement Actions: 2011, ICE detained a record 429,000 foreigners without documentation, and expelled about 188,000 immigrants with criminal records — another unprecedented number.

The report confirms numbers available separately at the ICE’s website, which shows that in 2011 the agency deported a record number of foreigners without documents: 396,906, most of them with criminal records.

According to the same ICE numbers, almost 2 million undocumented immigrants were deported between 2007 and last year.  Initially, most of those deported were immigrants who simply did not have papers. Gradually, the priority shifted to immigrants with criminal records or who had been deported previously and had returned. In 2011, 55 percent of those deported had criminal records. On the other hand, the detentions of undocumented foreigners have not stopped, though the number of immigrants who simply have no papers seems to be diminishing.

The accelerated pace of detentions and deportations under the Obama administration has outraged immigration activists, even though ICE and DHS officials have tried to explain that now a great number of those detained and deported have criminal records or have been expelled from the country before."

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