An analysis of the federal government's new review policy for deportations suggests that more undocumented immigrants are being allowed to stay in the country while their cases are being resolved.
During the last three months of 2011, deportation orders fell to an historic low, according to the Transactional Records Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. Roughly 51% of the cases before the nation's Immigration Courts ended with individuals ordered removed, down from 56% the previous quarter.
The TRAC analysis found that just under two out of every three cases (64.8%) ended in either ordered or voluntary removals, the lowest rate recorded during the past two decades.
In August, the Obama administration announced it was shifting deportation policy to concentrate on removing undocumented immigrants with criminal records, rather than those who only violated immigration laws. The policy change appears to be making a mark.
The Syracuse researchers used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the Immigration Courts case records for their analysis.