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Deportation protections by executive action, part 1: the numbers

Week after week in this blog, we have laid out reason after reason for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.

In Minnesota, as in many other states, advocates have offered arguments for reform based on justice and fairness. They have also called attention to the need to attract and retain the workers needed to continue to drive the national economy forward.

The dynamics of the U.S. Congress, however, have prevented action on an immigration bill. And there is now considerable concern that such reform will not happen anytime soon.

In this post, let’s look at the downside of this delay: a high number of deportations.

We will therefore be following up on our November 1 post on the possibility of extending the Deferred Action program. After all, as we pointed out in that post, the number of deportations during the Obama administration has been steadily climbing toward the 2 million mark.

Indeed, since that post only a little over three weeks ago, the number of deportations during Barack Obama’s presidency has surpassed 2 million.

This is more deportations than occurred under any previous president.

To be sure, the George W. Bush administration was known for high-profile immigration raids. But as we discussed in a two-part post on September 13 and 20, the Obama administration has conducted many “silent raids” of its own.

These silent raids focusing on audits of employment authorization documents have become a burden for both employers and immigrant job seekers.

Dissatisfaction with deportation policy has therefore led to calls for the Obama administration to expand its use of executive actions to stop deportation. We will discuss that issue further in part two of this post.

Source: The Atlantic, “What Happened to Immigration Reform?” Molly Ball, Nov. 22, 2013

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