The relative ease with which return deportations can be administered is one reason why they have been the overwhelmingly preferred method under every president of the modern era: not only do “returns” give apprehended immigrants the opportunity to enter legally in the future, the method also spares the courts from being gummed up with immigration cases. Under Carter, 97 percent of deportations were classified as “returns.” Under Reagan, it was 98 percent. For Bush I, it was just shy of 97 percent. For Clinton, it was 93 percent. And under George W. Bush, who oversaw over 10 million deportations between 2001 and 2008, returns comprised over 80 percent of all deportations. By way of contrast, that number was 50 percent through the end of Obama’s first term as president.
Unfortunately, you wouldn’t learn any of that context from Dara Lind’s fauxsplainer (a large part of explaining the news is deliberately omitting data that contradict your explanation). You would have no clue that returns comprised the vast majority of all deportations. You would have no clue that her new definition of what it means to be deported deliberately omitted 8.3 million deportations under Bush, 11.4 million under Clinton, 4 million under Bush I, and 8.1 million deportations under Reagan.