Immigrations and Customs Enforcement released numbers Friday reporting a record number of people deported from the U.S. in 2012. However, numbers dropped slightly for the region that includes Minnesota.
In 2012, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa and Nebraska deported nearly 4,800 illegal immigrants, about a thousand fewer than the year before.
Locally, the reduction has not been apparent, said, John Keller, executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota.
"Part of why it might be hard for us to see any perceived difference is simply because the volume of people going through the deportation system," Keller said. "Even with this year-to-year decrease that looks like has happened in this region is still a very high, almost doubling of what it was from 2001."
Nearly 70 percent of those who were removed by the St. Paul ICE office had some type of criminal conviction, higher than the national average of 54 percent.
Immigration advocates have argued too many of the Obama administration's record-number of deportations are people who pose no threat to public safety.
ICE also issued new guidelines, saying it would concentrate more on removing people with criminal convictions or who pose a significant risk to national security or public safety rather than people stopped for minor traffic offenses.
|Removals by Field Office|