Deportations hit record high

About half of those deported — 195,772 — were convicted criminals, also a record, Ms. Napolitano said, and an increase of more than 81,000 deportations of criminals over the final year of George W. Bush’s presidency…

Ms. Napolitano said the deportation figures, especially the criminals figure, reflected the Obama administration’s shift to focusing more closely on “removing those who pose public safety threats to our communities.” The overall figures for deportations increased slightly from about 389,000 in the 2009 fiscal year, also a record at the time.

The surge in deportations of criminals came in part as a result of a program called Secure Communities, officials say, which allows local law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of every person, including American citizens, booked into a county or local jail. The identity check is based on comparing fingerprints of people arrested against prints in Department of Homeland Security databases.