Washington – The percentage of undocumented deportees with criminal records diminished in the first quarter of the year, even though the U.S. government was specifically targeting that segment, according to data released Tuesday.
These preliminary figures show that of the 37,659 deportations between January and March, 5,450 were undocumented immigrants with criminal records, or 14 percent of the total.
In the same period of 2011, of the 58,955 people deported, 9,085 had a criminal record - 15 percent of the total - according to the database of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research outfit affiliated with Syracuse University.
"This suggests that the announced plan to increase the deportation of serious criminals through Immigration Court proceedings has not been successful," TRAC said.
Last August, the Department of Homeland Security said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement would focus its efforts on deporting undocumented persons with criminal records or who were seen as a threat to national security.
In the three quarters since that announcement, the rate of deportations for criminal activities remained at 14 percent of the total, the lowest percentage since January 2008 when the first records were kept on the matter.