While the United States removed a record number of illegal immigrants from the country in the 2010 fiscal year, a record number of illegal immigrants died while attempting to sneak into the country.
The big news of the week was that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement again surpassed the previous year’s record-high number of removals. The agency fell about 7,000 removals shy of its goal — or budget limit — or 400,000, but still topped last year’s mark by roughly 3,000 removals.
Department of Homeland Security officials pointed to a program that links federal crime and immigration databases for the achievement, which included an all-time high of deported criminals. The program, known as Secure Communities, has drawn controversy as the Obama administration has said that participation by local and state police agencies is mandatory, not voluntary, as previously believed.
At a press conference announcing the milestone, ICE Director John Morton told reporters to “expect more of the same next year.” The press conference was held one year after a major internal report that outlined ways to reform the nation’s immigration detention system. The progress of the overhaul has been criticized by immigrant advocates.
As is often the case when it comes to immigration, Arizona made the news, with a record number of border crosser deaths in the state. (Visit Mother Jones for a related story published on identifying dead border crossers.)
Although the state’s government has tried to bar illegal immigrants, the state is still a haven for refugees. And, a Federal District Judge in Arizona allowed a lawsuit against the controversial law to fight the tide of illegal immigrants flowing into the country can move forward. The controversial law in Arizona could also affect Latino voter turnout in next month’s mid-term elections. Will it make it to the U.S. Supreme Court some day? SCOTUS will hear two cases this term.
Finally, Lou Dobbs, the former CNN host who has championed the anti-illegal immigrant cause and railed against employers who hire illegal immigrants, was reported to have relied on undocumented workers himself.
Dobbs said he has done nothing illegal, despite a report in The Nation that he has “relied for years on undocumented labor for the upkeep of his multimillion-dollar estates and the horses he keeps for his 22-year-old daughter.”