The number of deportations from the U.S. have declined 25 percent in the first half of this fiscal year compared to the same time last year, according to a new report.
For the first six months of fiscal year 2015, the U.S. deported just 117,181 people, compared to the 157,365 people deported in that same time frame last year, the Washington Times reports.
A major difference between this year and last is President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which not only sought to grant legal status and worker permits to millions of illegal immigrants but also placed even more limitations on immigration enforcement.
The data also continues the trend of deportation decline underway since Obama moved forward with his first executive amnesty program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
The Times notes that since 2012, when Obama first began shielding illegal immigrant “childhood arrivals” from deportation, the number of deportations has declined 41 percent.
In addition to the raw totals, the Times reports that deportations of criminal immigrants are also on the decline. This fiscal year through April 4, the government had only deported 68,000 criminals, a 30 percent decline from the same period last year at 96,500.
Overall, according to the Times’ report, based on the level of deportations so far DHS could likely end up only deporting around 250,000 this fiscal year, when they are budgeted to deport some 400,000 people annually.
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson told the Times that among the reasons for the decline in deportations is the changing demographics of the illegal immigrant population and localities refusing to cooperate with immigration enforcement.
The spokesperson added that ICE has focused on criminals in its pursuit of deportations, with criminals making up 85 percent of deportations in 2014.