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Weekly Diaspora: The Burden of Record-Breaking Deportations

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Don't DeportBy Catherine A. Traywick, Media Consortium blogger.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced last week that it had broken its own record for deportations, affirming the Obama administration’s zeal for heavy-handed immigration enforcement. According to the announcement, deportations have increased by 70 percent since the Bush administration, totaling 392,000 in fiscal year 2010.

While the agency hailed this figure as a victory, others are taking a step back to examine the huge political, financial, and human costs associated with this administration’s unapologetic and tough approach to immigration.

The human costs

DHS’s efforts have resulted in the deportations of 195,772 convicted criminals in 2010 alone—perhaps a cause for celebration, or at least relief, to the scores of Americans who buy into the immigrant-as-criminal narrative. But things are less clear-cut with regard to the remaining 196,228 non-criminal individuals deported this year.