According to analysis from The Associated Press, the U.S. deported close to 393,000 people in the 2010 fiscal year that ended in September. That is up from 291,000 in 2007 and 369,000 in 2008, the last two years of the Bush administration, according to numbers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The AP reports that half of the people deported in 2010 were criminals and that set a record:
Of those, 27,635 had been arrested for drunken driving, more than double the 10,851 deported after drunken driving arrests in 2008, the last full year of the Bush administration, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data provided to The Associated Press.
An additional 13,028 were deported last year after being arrested on less serious traffic law violations, nearly three times the 4,527 traffic offenders deported two years earlier, according to the data.
The spike in the numbers of people deported for traffic offenses as well as a 78 percent increase in people deported for immigration-related offenses renewed skepticism about the administration's claims that it is focusing on the most dangerous criminals.
The challenge for Obama is that in appearences where he is trying to appeal to the Latino electorate, he has emphasized that his administration is focusing on those convicted of crimes.
On a town hall on the Spanish-language network Univision, the president said, "We have re-designed our enforcement practices under the law to make sure that we're focusing primarily on criminals. And so our deportation of criminals are up about 70 percent. Our deportation of non-criminals are down."