Using preliminary numbers, the Associated Press reports that deportations are down to the lowest level in nearly a decade. As you can see from the graphic, deportations (or, strictly speaking, removals attributed to ICE rather than to the Border Patrol) grew significantly under Bush (as they had under Clinton), initially plateaued under Obama, and are now collapsing. Deportation collapse Though the partial FY 2015 number reported by the AP is new, this has been building for a couple of years; deportations have fallen 42 percent since 2012. My colleague Jessica Vaughan reported on this last year. The operational reason for the collapse in deportations is the Obama administration’s enforcement-suppression policies, which it has labeled “prosecutorial discretion.” The White House has claimed that, given limited resources, it’s focusing only on the worst of the worst among criminal aliens. But then why have even criminal deportations been declining? They can’t blame this on sanctuary cities, because as bad as they are, the number of criminals they’re shielding from deportation isn’t big enough to account for such a steep decline in numbers.
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