MPI Event Addresses Obama Administration’s Immigration Enforcement Record

Last week, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) hosted an event entitled  “The Deportation Story: Deporter-in-Chief, Releaser-in-Chief, or Reformer-in-Chief?” which examined the legacy of the Obama Administration’s deportation policies. In his five years in office, deportation levels under of unauthorized immigrants under President Obama have hit record levels, thanks in part to increased appropriations for enforcement activities and the absence of comprehensive immigration reform legislation. However, this increase in deportations has not been uniform. As the number of formal removals has risen — often carrying with them more severe consequences than under previous Administrations — the number of apprehensions at the border has sharply fallen from its high in the year 2000.  Furthermore, programs such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and prosecutorial discretion allow for greater determination in the deportation process.  Yet even as these removals become more targeted, the lack of a comprehensive strategy to address immigration will continue to plague the enforcement system. Read MPI’s report on deportation here.