In the midst of a renewed run on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Obama administration moved forward with a series of immigration enforcement raids in early January, targeting recent arrival border surge illegal immigrant families.
According to Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, under the Obama Administration’s recent criteria for removing border surge illegal immigrant family unit members, just 18,607 individuals would be potential targets.
While less than 20,000 illegal immigrants would be considered targets for deportation, since fiscal year 2013, more than 300,000 unaccompanied minors and “family units” have been apprehended illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Recent data hint that future influx will be even higher.
The Department of Homeland Security said it apprehended 121 illegal immigrants, with final orders of removal issued in its initial January raid. When DHS announced the raids, Sec. Jeh Johnson said that the focus would be on family members who entered the U.S. illegally after May 2014 and have been issued final orders of removal by an immigration judge.
DHS has not indicated whether it will continue the immigration enforcement actions. Further, while the Obama administration has not said how many illegal immigrants could be targeted, TRAC last week estimated the 18,607 figure.
“[A]ccording to the latest available court records, a total of 18,607 individuals in the ‘women with children’ category have been ordered removed by immigration judges during the last 18 months under the court’s new priority docketing system,” the TRAC analysis reads. “This system was first set up in July 2014 to expedite the processing of these family cases.”
Amnesty activists and Democrats have protested the raids, claiming they are unjust and intended to instill fear in the immigrant community. With the loud cries against the raids, it is unclear if the administration will continue to pursue the enforcement actions.
Regardless, should the criteria for enforcement remain the same, a mere fraction of border surge illegal immigrant families would be targeted for deportation.