By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Dec. 20, 2013: What will Latin America and the Caribbean do with over 357,000 deportees in one year?
Its leaders had better figure out a plan soon as the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency Thursday revealed that the majority of deportees sent back to their native lands in Fiscal Year 2013 were from Latin America and Caribbean nations.
In fact, the top ten nations receiving deportees in 2013 are all in this region.
Mexico continued to be the leading country of origin for those removed with 241,493 deportees followed by Guatemala with 47,769, Honduras with 37,049 and El Salvador with 21,602.
The Dominican Republic led the way for the Caribbean with 2,462 while Ecuador received 1,616 deportees to take the sixth spot in the top ten.
Brazil with 1,500; Colombia with 1,429; Nicaragua with 1,383 and Jamaica with 1,119 rounded out the top ten to put the total number deported between October 2012 and October 2013 to Latin America and the Caribbean alone at 357,422.
Overall, U.S. ICE deported 368,644 immigrants globally in Fiscal Year 2013.
MOST ARE CRIMINAL MIGRANTS
The majority of those sent packing out of the United States are not the much talked about “illegal aliens” but convicted criminal immigrants. Eighty two percent of all removals from the U.S. were immigrants who were previously convicted of a criminal offense.
Of the 368,644 removed globally, 216,810 removals were convicted criminals – the highest percentage of removals recorded for the previous five fiscal years.
Convicted criminal aliens are ranked into three categories – Level 1, 2 and 3 where Level 1 equals “aggravated felonies,” or two or more crimes each punishable by more than one year. Level 2 offenders are immigrants convicted of any other felony or three or more crimes each punishable by less than one year, commonly referred to as “misdemeanors” while Level 3 offenders are migrants convicted of “misdemeanor” crime(s) punishable by less than one year.
Other than convicted criminals, the agency’s enforcement priorities focused on those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who returned to the U.S. after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives.
“The FY2013 numbers make clear that we are enforcing our nation’s laws in a smart and effective way, meeting our enforcement priorities by focusing on convicted criminals while also continuing to secure our nation’s borders in partnership with CBP,” said Acting Director Sandweg. “Ninety eight percent of those removed in the last year met one of our key priorities – a record high and a testament to the men and women of ICE who are helping to implement a strong and focused immigration enforcement strategy.”