US Deportations at Record Level

Posted October 18th, 2011 at 3:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Federal agents have deported a record number of people from the United States.

The director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency said Tuesday 396,906 people were deported in the 12-month period ending in September.

ICE's John Morton said the numbers are the largest since the agency was officially created eight years ago.

ICE said two-thirds of the deported individuals either crossed the border recently or had repeatedly entered the U.S. illegally. The agency also said that more than half of the deported individuals had been convicted of some sort of crime.

ICE said that is an almost 90-percent increase over the number of criminals deported three years ago.

The agency said more than 1,000 deportees had been convicted of murder and that more than 5,800 had been convicted of sexual offenses. About 80,000 had been convicted of drug related crimes or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

ICE is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has made deportation a high priority in criminal cases.