Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 | 2:47 p.m.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 368,644 people from the country in fiscal year 2013, down approximately 10 percent from fiscal year 2012.
The agency released the figures today in a report detailing removal operations.
In FY 2013, ICE conducted 133,551 deportations of immigrants apprehended in the interior of the country, and 235,093 removals of people who were apprehended near the border while attempting to cross into the United States illegally.
In FY 2012, 409, 849 people were deported.
Overall, 59 percent of the 2013 deportees had a criminal record, according to ICE, up from 55 percent of those deported in 2012.
Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador led the list of country of origin for people deported in the last year, in that order. However, ICE indicated a decrease in crossings by Mexicans and an increase in those from Central America contributed to the decline in removal numbers. Mexicans can be repatriated faster than other immigrants found in the country illegally because of special provisions for a neighboring country.
In FY 2012, 71,257 of the recent border crossers deported by ICE after being apprehended by Customs and Border Patrol were from countries other than Mexico. That number rose 27 percent, to 90,461, in FY 2013, according to ICE data.
“This shift in the demographics of border apprehensions triggered an increase in ICE’s use of its detention and removal resources for recent border crossers as CBP is only able to effectuate the return of individuals to Mexico,” the report states.
ICE focused on serious offenders in its removal procedures, according to the report, and 82 percent of all of those deported from the interior of the country were convicted criminals.
In fiscal year 2007, a year before President Barack Obama’s first inauguration, there were 291,060 deportations. In FY 2008 that number climbed to 369,221 and continued to increase incrementally each year through 2012 before dropping this year.