Despite reports that illegal entries into the United States are plummeting, the Obama administration deported more immigrants in 2009 than in any other year in history.
US President Barack Obama’s administration deported 393,289 undocumented immigrants in 2009 - the highest number of deportations for any year in the country’s history, according to official figures by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released in August.
THE "PATH TO CITIZENSHIP"
President Obama supports a system that allows illegal immigrants a "path to citizenship": those who have obeyed US law could pay a fine, learn English and become citizens. Critics say this amounts to offering amnesty to people who knowingly crossed into the country illegally.
Obama says he also defends tightening border security and clamping down on employers that hire undocumented workers. The last attempt to overhaul the immigration system, by Obama's predecessor, President George W. Bush, in 2007, was torpedoed by Bush's fellow Republicans in Congress.
States such as Arizona, have passed immigration-related laws, but have traditionally left border security to the federal government.
According to Pew’s researchers, the number of illegal immigrants living in the US was down from around 12 million in 2007 to around 11.1 million in 2009. More than half of these immigrants are Mexican. The study credits tougher immigration enforcement and the global economic recession as the two main factors contributing to the trend.
“Many have been deported for very minor crimes that were committed a long time ago. Some people do stupid things when they are young, but then go on to establish families and buy homes,” Saenz laments. “[Obama] is trying to please the people who didn’t elect him."
Date created : 2010-09-08