The Department of Homeland Security set a new record for illegal alien deportations in fiscal year 2010, removing nearly 400,000 illegal aliens. About half, 195,000, were convicted criminals, which amounts to a 70 percent increase from 2008, but the Administration continues to ignore the millions of illegal aliens who hold jobs in the United States.

The increase in criminal alien deportations is mostly due to the expanded Secure Communities initiative, which uses fingerprints taken from criminals by local police officers and compares it with data kept by federal immigration officials. In 2008, only 14 communities were part of the program, but it's been expanded to more than 660 municipalities.

The other 200,000 illegal aliens deported had either just recently crossed the border or were fugitives from immigration courts.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials also audited more than 2,200 hiring documents from various businesses and levied $50 million in fines to the companies that hired illegal aliens.  But the agency has done nothing to address the estimated 8 million illegal aliens holding jobs while 22 million Americans are can't find a job.

"This report shows that the record of the Obama Administration is mixed," said Roy Beck, CEO of NumbersUSA. "It simply is not true as some critics suggest that Pres. Obama has ended immigration enforcement. It is a benefit to society if more felony criminal aliens are being removed from the country. The increase is relatively modest, but the trend is hopeful.

"However, the numbers do not look so good when looking at the non-felony illegal aliens. The Administration tends to look at them as if they are not creating victims, too. It is as though illegal aliens keeping unemployed Americans from having jobs is not a serious issue. Mr. Obama's constant efforts to bar states and localities from moving illegal foreign workers out of their jobs to make room for unemployed Americans belie a truly serious effort to combat illegal immigration."

Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith (R-Texas) also offered a comment on the DHS report.

“The deportation of criminal aliens is only one piece of the immigration enforcement pie. While criminal arrests may be on the rise, worksite enforcement has been all but forgotten by the Obama administration. Millions of Americans are struggling to find work, while an estimated seven million illegal immigrants are working in the U.S. Worksite enforcement could help make those much-needed jobs available for U.S. citizen and legal immigrant workers.

"But under President Obama, worksite enforcement administrative arrests are down 77%, criminal arrests are down 60%, indictments are down 64% and convictions are down 68%."

“The Obama administration needs to do more than just enforce a few immigration laws. In addition to deporting criminal aliens, they need to secure the border to ensure those deported cannot come right back into the U.S. And they need to conduct worksite enforcement to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants and make millions of jobs available to U.S. citizen and legal immigrant workers.”

For more information, see the Department of Homeland Security's press release and see a history of enforcement statistics.

Illegal Immigration

Updated: Sat, Oct 9th 2010 @ 11:33am EDT