U.S. Deported Lowest Number of Illegal Aliens Since 1973

by ELIZABETH HARRINGTON October 31, 2013

Total deportations of illegal aliens are at their lowest level since 1973, according to a new report released by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), debunking a claim by the Obama administration that deportations have hit an all-time high.

Jessica Vaughn, director of policy studies at CIS, obtained internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data, for her report, "Deportation Numbers Unwrapped," which was unveiled at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

"In 2011, the most recent year for which all ICE and CBP totals have been reported, deportations numbered 715,495," the report states. "This was the lowest year since 1973, when 585,351 deportations were effected."

Furthermore, total removals, a category of deportation that bars an illegal alien from returning to the United States, will reach 364,700 in 2013, the lowest level since at least 2008.

"This decline has to be of great concern to policymakers, and especially to the public," Vaughn said. "It's not as if there is a shortage of illegal aliens living in our country."

"[The decline] is occurring at a time when ICE has better tools and more resources and more personnel than ever before," she said. "So the number of removals really should be rising, but instead it's falling."

Enforcement activity has also declined in every ICE field office over the last year, with the largest drops occurring in Atlanta (62 percent), Salt Lake City (49 percent), Washington, D.C. (46 percent), and Houston (43 percent).

Interior enforcement is also down by nearly 40 percent since 2010.

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