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August 26, 2015

New Report Highlights Obama Administration's Robust Stance on Immigration Enforcement

A new report released by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) - "Immigration Enforcement in the United States: The Rise of a Formidable Machinery"- reveals that the Obama administration has spent more on immigration enforcement in fiscal year 2012 than on all other federal criminal law enforcement combined, with an estimated $18 billion in expenditures.

According to the report, the resources allocated toward immigration enforcement programs in the U.S. surpassed the combined budgets of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Secret Service by approximately $3.6 billion. In addition to a record number of deportations - 409,849 people in fiscal year 2012 compared to 188,467 people in 2000 - the Obama administration has made immigration a top enforcement priority, with referrals for prosecution by federal government agencies outnumbering referrals by the U.S. Department of Justice and its agencies.

Importantly, the Obama administration has also refocused enforcement to prioritize the removal of foreign nationals with criminal records while implementing new programs to assist undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and ease family separations for the undocumented immigrant spouses of U.S. citizens.

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About this Author

Co-Managing Shareholder, Tysons Corner Office

Laura Reiff focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues. 

Nataliya Binshteyn, Immigration Attorney, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm

Nataliya Binshteyn focuses her practice on global business immigration matters. Her experience includes representing political asylum applicants in immigration proceedings before Asylum Officers and Immigration Judges. Nataliya has experience conducting client interviews, researching country conditions and applicable laws, and soliciting expert testimony as well as drafting affidavits and immigration documents for filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.