September 19, 2013

High rate of deportations continue under Obama despite Latino disapproval


In an interview with Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart on Tuesday, President Obama said that it would be difficult to halt the deportation of immigrants living in the country illegally without the approval of Congress.

Immigration rights advocates have pushed the president to halt deportations through an executive order, especially of immigrants who haven’t committed any serious crimes.

Last summer the administration did just this for young unauthorized immigrants brought to the country illegally as children with the creation of the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program. Known as DREAMers, more than 500,000 young unauthorized immigrants have taken advantage of the administration’s program. Our 2012 survey of Hispanic adults found wide approval (89% approved of this new policy). A Pew Research Center survey of the general U.S. public found that 63% of U.S. adults approved of this program as well.

But deportations of unauthorized immigrants continue at record levels. In 2011 some 392,000 immigrants were removed from the U.S., according to the Department of Homeland Security. Among them, 48% were deported for breaking U.S. laws, such as drug trafficking, driving under the influence and entering the country illegally.

The Obama Administration has deported more immigrants annually than the George W. Bush Administration.

FT_Deport_DisapproveMost Hispanics disapprove. When asked about the Obama administration’s handling of deportations in a late 2011 Pew Research Center survey, 59% said they disapproved while 27% said they approved. According to the same survey, 41% of all Hispanics, and 55% of Hispanic immigrants, were aware that more immigrants had been deported under the Obama Administration than the Bush Administration.

The Latino vote played an important role in the 2012 presidential election. A record 11.2 million Hispanics voted, supporting the president over challenger Mitt Romney 71% to 27%, according to exit polls. For Latino voters, the issue of immigration ranks as an important issue (though in 2012 it trailed others such as the economy, education and health care).

Topics: Hispanic/Latino Vote, Immigration, Unauthorized Immigration

  1. Photo of Mark Hugo Lopez

    is Director of Hispanic Research, Pew Research Center.

  2. Photo of Ana Gonzalez-Barrera

    is a Research Associate at the Hispanic Trends Project.

Leave a Comment


All comments must follow the Pew Research comment policy and will be moderated before posting.


  1. alexis1 week ago

    It’s astonishing to know how people dissaprove the way Obama is handling deporations

  2. CitizenKane3 weeks ago

    Apparently the Pew “research” stinks = Pew Research should really stop shilling for liberal causes and the Obama agenda !

    “New documents reveal Obama administration ‘cooking the books’ to achieve record deportation numbers”………..

    Read more:…



  3. RK92 months ago

    I strongly approve of Obama’s strict immigration control. I think all Hispanics who are criminals should be deported back to their home country and never allowed on US soil again. This is only to protect our US citizens, the US and it’s territories. The Department of Homeland Security should enforce more tighter border protection.

  4. James Dick2 months ago

    With legal immigrants topping one million a year,there is a need to deport those who are here illegally,with some exceptions and the Dreamers law is one of those exceptions.Those entering the country illegally and staying after their visa has expired should be deported.The offspring on illegals are automatically citizens if born in this country,but parents of these children should file for legality by going to the end of the line and paying all taxes that are due.

  5. C.D.Lesniak4 months ago

    The stories regarding deportations by the current administration strike me as somewhat intellectually dishonest. It is not current policy to round up undocumented people. So why are these people being deported? Does it involve felony convictions through the legal system? I suspect as much.

  6. Manny Menendez5 months ago

    A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement are in fact at record lows, not the record highs claimed by Obama administration officials.

    This has occured because a shift in routine Border Patrol casework to ICE has allowed the latter to artificially increase deportation numbers.

    “It was astounding to discover that ICE has been arresting and removing so few illegal aliens from inside the country, considering that they have better tools and more resources at their disposal than ever before, and considering that there is an abundance of criminal aliens and illegal workers who should be removed,”

    said Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies for the Center.