We all have been reading about The Obama administration changing the federal immigration enforcement strategy, in ways that reduce the threat of deportation for millions of illegal immigrants.
The changes focus enforcement on immigrants who have committed serious crimes, an effort to unclog immigration courts and detention centers. A record backlog of deportation cases has forced immigrants to wait an average 459 days for their hearings. But recent statistics paint a slightly different picture.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said today his agency deported nearly 400,000 individuals during the fiscal year that ended in September, the largest number of removals in the agency’s history.
Morton announced the Fiscal 2011 numbers in Washington, saying about 55 percent of those deported had felony or misdemeanor convictions. Officials said the number of those convicted of crimes was up 89 percent from 2008.
Authorities could not immediately say how many of those crimes related solely to previous immigration violations. Individuals can be convicted of a felony for returning to the U.S. or being found in the U.S. after being ordered by the government to leave.
The Government said it is focusing its resources on criminals, recent border crossers, those who repeatedly cross the border and those people the department considers fugitives.
If you have acquired one year of unlawful presence after April 1, 1997, leave the United States, and then attempt to enter the country illegally, you are subject to the permanent bar. The same is true if you are successful in reentering the Unites States illegally. The permanent bar means that you will never be able to reenter the United States legally. There is a waiver available, but only after you have stayed outside the United States for ten years. Therefore, if you have been living illegally in the United States for more than one year, you should not leave and attempt to return illegally.