The United States deported 393,000 people according to an associated press article published on July 22, 2011. Of the persons deported, half were for criminal offenses including drunk driving. The number of drunk driving related deportations have doubled since the last year of the Bush administration in 2008. 13,028 were deported last year for less serious traffic law violations, which is triple the number of persons deported two years earlier for the same conduct. This contradicts claims made by the Obama administration that they were focusing on deportation for violent offenders, and not families or individuals “looking to scrape together an income”. Under Trump, this is likely to get much worse.
The majority of the deportations last year (45,003) were for immigrants that committed drug related offenses. Drunk driving was the third leading cause of deportations last year. This number does not reflect immigrants that are currently incarcerated in jail or prison that will eventually be deported for criminal offenses.
Some of the persons considered as criminals were stopped for traffic offenses that usually only result in a ticket. The lack of a drivers license (which is a misdemeanor in Michigan), results in the police officer sometimes pursuing questions related to immigration status. These traffic offense related deportations account for 7 percent of the total criminal deportations last year. Drug offenses comprised 23 percent, and drunk driving comprised 14 percent of the criminal deportations last year.
The Secure Communities program was implemented through the Department of Homeland Securty to identify immigrants for deportation through fingerprints taken by police officers when individuals are arrested and booked for new criminal allegations. Local police send fingerprints to the FBI for criminal background checks, which are then shared with the Department of Homeland Security to look for legal or illegal immigrants who are potentially deportable. The Secure Communities program is now in place in 1,400 jurisdictions, and will increase to 3,000 jurisdictions by 2013.
When you or a family member are facing potential issues of deportation, it is important to immediately consult with an experienced immigration lawyer. It is probably a good idea to carry in your wallet or purse the name and number of an experienced immigration attorney to assist you if such issues could potentially arise. Contact the law firm of Hilf & Hilf, PLC to address any of your immigration needs.