The Obama administration deported at least 400,000 illegal immigrants in fiscal year 2012, a new record. It emphasizes deporting 'criminal aliens' to protect public safety, but the high figure serves to remind Latinos of the president's unfilled pledge to reform immigration policy.
The record number, released Friday, is also important for another reason: It is a stinging reminder to Latinos that President Obama failed during his first term to pursue the comprehensive immigration reform that they seek.
The Obama administration framed its 2012 work in immigration enforcement as focused mainly on criminals – 55 percent of deportations came from convicted criminals, a record high – rather than on indiscriminately rounding up illegal immigrants and sending them home. ICE on Friday also issued new detention guidelines intended to emphasize legal action against those who have committed crimes above and beyond immigration violations.
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