Blog Archive

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Record number of deportations

By Dwayne Parker
October 20, 2011

READING, PA.-U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) reported it deported almost 400,000 undocumented immigrants for the fiscal year 2011.

Officials report it's the largest number of deportations since the agency's creation.

"I'm not shocked about it," said Anthony Maturano, immigration attorney. "For the last few years it's been about enforcement."

Maturano, who works out of his office on 5th Street in Reading, indicated that, in some cases, I.C.E. agents who conduct raids find more than just the targets of their investigations.

"My experience with my clients has been that immigration will come into a home looking for one person and they find lots of people and they take them all," said Maturano.

Maturano added that the numbers may also be on the rise because local law enforcement may be sounding the alarm.

"I think that there are more people coming to immigration's attention because there may be a traffic stop and the police call because there's no driver's license. So immigration comes in for that," said Maturano.

According to I.C.E., for the Pennsylvania region, 6,746 people overall were deported. Of that number, 4,159 were convicted criminals, and 2,587 were non-criminals.

The agency has even created priority categories to aggressively deal with the issue.

"We're very clear. We want to prioritize those who are convicted criminals, we want to prioritize those who are egregious and repeat violators, we want to prioritize those who are security threats, those who have existing warrants," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. "What you see happening now, particularly over the last year, fiscal year 2011, is that while the number, around 400,000 remains about the same, the composition of those within that number who are being removed is now shifting to reflect the priorities we've set."