The Obama administration deported a record 393,000 people last fiscal year, with half of those deported considered criminals. That jibes with the Obama administration's pledge to go after the "worst of the worst," but the AP reports that some critics are scoffing: The figure includes big increases in the number of people deported after drunken driving arrests (27,635, up from 10,851 in 2008) and traffic offenses (13,028, up from from 4,527).
Officers "are using their new authority to remove as many unauthorized people from their jurisdictions as they can, and that frequently means going after traffic violators instead of serious criminals," says an analyst at an immigration think tank. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said there also had been an increase in serious felons caught for deportation, but many were still in the justice system. "The more serious offenders are still in prison," she said. "We're not going to see them reflected in the numbers until we can begin to remove them."