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U.S. Deports Record Number Of Undocumented Immigrants

Aired 10/19/11 on KPBS News.

Increased enforcement of immigration laws - combined with a weak economy - have changed the landscape of the country's undocumented population.

The U.S. deported a record 396,906 people in fiscal year 2011, according to figures released Tuesday. That's about 4,000 more people deported than in the previous year.

Undocumented Guatemalan immigrants are searched before boarding a deportation...
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Above: Undocumented Guatemalan immigrants are searched before boarding a deportation flight to Guatemala City, Guatemala at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on June 24, 2011 in Mesa, Arizona.

Deportations have increased steadily under the Obama administration, and a larger percentage of deportees are convicted criminals. At the same time, the estimated number of unauthorized immigrants in the country has declined.

Experts say the weak economy is largely responsible for the latter, but beefed up enforcement has also made an impact.

Hans Johnson, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, said the effect is a very different undocumented immigrant population than in recent decades.

“The unauthorized immigrants who are here are more likely to have resided here for some time," Johnson said. "So in many cases, that means they’re more settled. More likely, for example, to have children who are born here. More likely to have job connections and networks.”

The Pew Hispanic Center estimates the undocumented population in the U.S. to be 11 million. That’s down from a peak of 12 million in 2007.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | October 19, 2011 at 11:14 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Obama has gone beyond Bush II. Yet the Nativists are still in denial and are still not satisfied.

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Avatar for user 'Tom711'

Tom711 | October 19, 2011 at 5:01 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Next thing you know there'll be talk that he did too much by the nay sayers.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 19, 2011 at 9:11 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

So where are all the anti-immigrant folk who blame Obama for being "weak" on illegal immigration?

Seems he is stronger than Republicans are on the issue.

Maybe Republicans think Mitt Romney would be better?

Here is a quote from Mitt from last night's debate:

"We went to the company and we said, look, you can't have any illegals working on our property, I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals."

So I guess if Mitt weren't "running for office," he would have no problem hiring illegal immigrants.

If Romney does get the nomination, can you picture the debates between him and Obama when this issue comes up?

The guy who actually increased deportations of illegals vs. the guy who hires illegal immigrant lawn gardeners to tend to his mansion grounds?

The sad thing is that, even in this scenario, much of the right wing would still find a way to smear Obama and use smoke and mirrors to act like Obama has no credibility on the illegal immigration issue.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | October 20, 2011 at 9:26 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

The energy we see for Immigration Reform, which is another title for amnesty, should be taken to the steps of the Mexican Gov and put the burden on them to improve how they run their country. All their people want is opportunity, careers, education, and to live. Sounds familiar, right?

For generations the people of Mexico have used the U.S. as a crutch to escape poverty. Latino leaders in the U.S. should be arguing with Calderon and his cronies to get their act together. You can't change a country from the outside. They have to get in the house first.

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