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More illegal immigrants deported for traffic offenses. Problem for Obama?

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Some 393,000 people were deported in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2010, about half of whom had committed crimes, according to an Associated Press analysis. The report, citing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data, stated that 27,635 people were deported after receiving drunken driving citations, compared with 10,851 in the last full year of the Bush administration. In addition, 13,028 people were deported for less serious traffic violations, three times the 4,527 who were deported two years earlier.

For some, especially in Democratic-leaning states including New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois, the report confirms concerns that Obama has not adhered to his promise of targeting only the "worst of the worst" for deportation. Several states are brawling with the administration over the Secure Communities program, announcing they are pulling out of it. Secure Communities uses a federal immigration database to help local police identify illegal immigrants among people charged with local crimes and misdemeanors.

Meanwhile, those who want tougher immigration enforcement point to recent ICE changes around prosecutorial discretion as evidence that the Obama administration does not intend to enforce the law aggressively.

They cite a June memo from ICE director John Morton that detailed different classes of illegal immigrants that ICE personnel should consider "sensitive" when deciding whether to prosecute for deportation. It included minors and the elderly, pregnant women, college graduates, and those who have been living in America for a long time.

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