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August 8, 2017

Trump deportations lag behind Obama levels
By Ted Hesson

Soon after being sworn in, Trump signed an order greatly broadening the universe of people who could be targeted for deportation. In the next 100 days, immigration arrests rose by nearly 38 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. However, an arrest doesn’t always translate into a speedy deportation, and several factors have suppressed the removal rate. First, the number of people caught trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border has dropped precipitously under Trump, an indication that his hard-line enforcement has scared people away. Another factor is the immigration courts, which face a backlog of more than 610,000 cases, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The case backlog grew exponentially during the Obama administration — partly the result of Central Americans seeking asylum in the U.S. — but the pileup has worsened under Trump. It has expanded by nearly 100,000 cases so far in the current fiscal year, an 18 percent increase.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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