Obama, deporter in chief? Not quite

In Obama’s first year in office, his administration deported 237,941 people. That number represents the traditional definition of a deportation: someone living their life in the U.S. when they encounter a law enforcement officer who has them shipped out of the country.

By last year, that number had fallen to 133,551. And of those, 71,938 had been previously convicted of at least one felony or several misdemeanors – the “criminal aliens” that the administration has targeted. That means of the 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the country, fewer than 70,000 who have led generally peaceful lives here were deported last year.

Yes, the Obama administration says it deports 400,000 people annually, recently passing the 2 million mark throughout the president’s time in office. But the majority of those cases involve people caught by Border Patrol agents along the Southwest border and processed through Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In years past, those people would have been quickly shipped back to Mexico. But starting under President George W. Bush, many of those people are being handed over to ICE so that the agency can formally charge them.