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Fewer immigrants deported in 2013

Deportations decreased by 10 percent this year compared to last year, according to recent reports. The government deported 368,644 individuals in 2013. This is the first year immigrant deportations decreased in the United States under President Obama. 

Deportation is a heated issue in the U.S., with immigration advocates saying that more needs to be done to prevent deportations, especially deportations affecting children. On the other side, proponents of deportation and current immigration laws say that they should be deporting more immigrants.

The decrease in deportations in 2013 is seen as good news by immigration advocates, but they also say that more needs to be done. 

Why did immigrant deportations decrease this year? Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said that they have been focusing on deporting immigrants who commit criminal offenses and those investigations usually take more time. ICE officials also said that more immigrants from Central America are being detained at the border, and the deportation process for Central Americans takes longer than deporting immigrants from Mexico. 

Other immigration organizations don't think deporting criminals is the reason for the decrease in overall deportations in 2013. They claim that the Obama administration wants fewer deportations, and that ICE is trying not to deport immigrants with children or those who have ties to the country. 

The political fight over immigration reform and deportation will likely continue next year. Immigration advocates hope that Congress will finally address immigration reform and create new policies that will change the deportation process and help more immigrants stay in the U.S. For now, immigration advocates will have to wait and see if any new policies are proposed to change the current immigration laws in the country. 

Source: USA Today, "Deportations by federal government drop in 2013," Daniel Gonzalez, Dec. 27, 2013

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