A record number of criminal aliens and undocumented aliens were deported in fiscal year 2010, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Wednesday.
In fiscal year 2010, ICE set a record for overall removals of illegal aliens, with more than 392,000 removals nationwide. Half of those removed — more than 195,000 — were convicted criminals.
The fiscal year 2010 statistics represent increases of more than 23,000 removals overall and 81,000 criminal removals compared to fiscal year 2008-a more than 70 percent increase in removal of criminal aliens from the previous administration.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's announcements reflect the Obama Administration's "continued focus on smart and effective immigration enforcement over the past 20 months — prioritizing the identification and removal of criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety," according to a press release.
DHS has also expanded the Secure Communities initiative that uses biometric information and services to identify and remove criminal aliens in state prisons and local jails-from 14 jurisdictions in 2008 to more than 660 today, including all jurisdictions along the Southwest border. DHS is on track to expand this program to all law enforcement jurisdictions nationwide by 2013. This year, Secure Communities has resulted in the arrest of more than 59,000 convicted criminal aliens, including more than 21,000 convicted of major violent offenses like murder, rape, and the sexual abuse of children.
Since January 2009, ICE has audited more than 3,200 employers suspected of hiring illegal labor, debarred 225 companies and individuals, and imposed approximately $50 million in financial sanctions — more than the total amount of audits and debarments than during the entire previous administration.