The figures come as President Barack Obama and House of
Representatives Republicans clashed openly over immigration- reform
legislation that remains stalled in the Republican-led House.
More than 11 million people are believed to be in the United States
illegally. Many are children brought by their parents across the
border from Mexico.
Obama, who has made immigration reform a priority, has drawn fire
from advocacy groups and been called "deporter in chief" for
presiding over an administration that has deported some 2 million
people. But his administration brought 26 percent fewer cases in
immigration courts in 2013 than in 2009, the New York Times
Judges ordered deportations in some 105,000 of those cases in 2013,
which is just part of total annual deportations. The lower numbers,
however, contributed to an overall drop in removals in 2013, which
saw nearly 370,000 deportations, a 10 percent decrease from 2012,
the newspaper reported.
The Department of Homeland Security, which handles immigration
prosecutions, opened 187,678 deportation cases in 2013, nearly
50,000 fewer than in 2011, the newspaper said. In addition, the
courts increasingly are deciding against deportation and allowing
immigrants to remain in the U.S., the Times said.
The analysis by the Executive Office for Immigration Review, a
branch of the Justice Department, looked at data through fiscal
[to top of second column]
Obama administration officials are also considering whether to allow
bond hearings for long-detained undocumented immigrants. That could
further decrease deportations, because immigration courts expedite
cases of jailed immigrants, the Los Angeles Times reported on
Several thousand immigrants could be released nationwide if courts
are allowed to hear cases and grant bond, the newspaper said, citing
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle;
editing by Larry King)
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