Updated 01:02 PM EST, Wed, Jan 26, 2022

Immigration Reform 2014 - News & Update: U.S. Deported Record Number of Immigrants in 2013

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According to a recent report published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, last year saw a record number of deportations from the U.S., with 438,421 deportations in total. The news comes as the issue of immigration (and deportations) has become one of the most hotly contested issues in the lead up to the 2014 mid-term elections. Pro-immigration reform advocates have complained that Obama's decision not to pursue any type of immigration reform before the mid-term elections is merely based on fears that acting on the issue before the election could jeopardize the Democrats' election prospects.

As noted by Forbes, the overall volume of deportations has "steadily increased under the Obama administration," and has now exceeded a total of 2 million. The majority of the 438,421 deported in 2013 were not in anyway associated with criminal activity, while the rest were (some 198,000 people). 

Forbes also reports that 363,000 of those deported in 2013 did not appear for a judge, a record high number. In comparison with the numbers from a decade ago, 2013 saw twice as many deportations as 10 years prior when the total number of deportations from the U.S. amounted to 211,000. 

While President Obama recently has pointed the blame for inaction by the U.S. government on the issue of immigration reform at Congress (and specifically at House Republicans), immigration reform activists have pointed out that the president still has the power to end the mass deportations of immigrants, and are frustrated that he hasn't. The situation for some is growing desperate as many undocumented immigrants fear they will face deportation--and possibly be separated from their families--if no action on immigration is taken by Obama or Congress soon. 

Yet, the issue is larger than that of Republicans being unwilling to pass immigration reform themselves. It has been reported that the real reason for the White House delaying action is because the president is being pressured by Democrats to hold off on any immigration action until after the election. This is because Democrats fear such action could risk them losing control of perhaps both the House of Representatives and the Senate should voters become unhappy with the reforms that would otherwise be enacted.

Yet, according to the White House's official statement on the matter of delaying immigration action, it was done in order to provide for a "sustainable and more effective" immigration reform policy. 

"The truth of the matter is that the politics did shift mid-summer because of that problem," stated Obama, referring to the flood of immigrants that began arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this summer.

"What I'm saying is that I'm going to act because it's the right thing for the country. But it's going to be more sustainable and more effective if the public understands what the facts are on immigration, what we've done on unaccompanied children and why it's necessary."

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