Data from a federal agency indicates that 59 percent of people deported in fiscal 2013 were convicted criminals.
Of all those deported, 33 percent were convicted for at least one felony, including murder, drug trafficking, firearms, theft, battery, filing a false tax return, and failing to return to court.
Another 26 percent were convicted of misdemeanors, the Pew Research Center reported, based on data from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement report on immigration removals.
President Barack Obama has been criticized by Hispanic leaders for deporting 2 million illegal immigrants — more than any other president in American history.
Of those deported in fiscal 2013, 20 percent were sent back for repeat immigration offenses, and 17 percent were caught at the border.
The Obama administration has deported about 396,000 immigrants a year since taking office in 2009, compared to 252,000 deportations a year under former President George W. Bush.
The high number of deportations led National Council of La Raza President Janet Murguia to call on the president to end deportations, calling him "the deporter-in-chief."
Obama responded saying that he is the "champion-in-chief"
of comprehensive immigration reform.
The president has ordered a review
of deportation practices because he wants to ensure they are done humanely.
However, Obama has not called on ICE to halt deportations, and he would not increase the number of immigrants that may receive work permits under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that began in 2012.
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