OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DEPORTS NEARLY HALF A MILLION IMMIGRANTS IN 2012

by Raymond G. Lahoud, Esquire

Many Deportees Were Non-Criminal, Tax Paying Immigrants with American Citizen Spouses and Children Who Have Lived in the United States for Years.

In a shocking statement just released, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that it deported nearly 410,000 immigrants in 2012 – a number that shocked many and has exceeded the number of deportees from years prior. In the statement, ICE Director John Morton stated that the large amount of deportations in 2012 was the product of “smart and effective immigration enforcement” so as to deport only those immigrants considered “high priority” and have serious criminal histories. Is that so?

“The Obama Administration claims to have taken a stand on not enforcing deportation orders against non-criminals, yet, over half of those deported in 2012 had absolutely no criminal records, minimal immigration violations and posed no threat to national security or public safety,” said Raymond Lahoud, a deportation defense attorney at the New York immigration law firm Baurkot & Baurkot.

In the announcement, ICE claimed that it reallocated its resources to target immigrants with serious criminal histories or substantial immigration violations – immigrants who are considered high priority—a claim that Lahoud called absurd and absolutely inaccurate: “What ICE failed to tell the American people is that hundreds of thousands of those deported in 2012 were anything but a threat, have American Citizen families, paid taxes, provided private health insurance for their spouses and children, had no criminal histories and, for those who did have an interaction with the criminal justice system, the interaction was minimal, such as driving without a license. Those deported had substantial equities in their favor and only served the American economic, social, educational and family environments well.”

ICE’s announcement simply lauded the its removal of aliens with serious criminal convictions, yet failed to discuss those deportees that were anything but criminals and were in the United States with the hope of building their American Dream with their American Citizen spouses and children. “It is time that President Obama and ICE actually get serious and follow through with their plan of focusing only on the deportation of immigrants with serious criminal convictions, rather than on the many, whose presence in the United States only benefits the nation,” said Lahoud, “enough is enough.”