The United States gave away a record number of its poor, tired, hungry and huddled masses in the fiscal year that ended in September. According to the director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency deported nearly 400,000 illegal immigrants, adding that more than half of the deported had convictions of felonies or misdemeanors.
The AP notes that those crime rates may be inflated by the counting of those who committed felonies by re-entering the country after being deported. ICE didn’t distinguish how many of the convicts had been previously booted.
The Department of Homeland Security Secretary says ICE is focusing on corralling criminals of various sorts, including fugitives and repeat border crossers, as well as recent illegal entrants.
Those on both sides of the immigration issue criticized ICE’s numbers and practices. A politician critical of White House immigration policy speculated that the 400,000 figure was too high and included those who volunteered to leave the U.S. without penalty. Meanwhile, an immigration activist leader said many crimes deported immigrants are convicted of are rinky-dink, such as for having broken taillights or polarized windows.
ICE deports record number of immigrants in year [AP via Richmond Times-Dispatch]