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Administration on track to lower deportation numbers

It's one of the biggest issues in American government today: Immigration. Even though controversy surrounding immigration and immigration reform continues, new information indicates that the number of deportations throughout Texas and the rest of the nation may actually drop for the first time in 10 years. In fact, experts say that the numbers have decreased by more than 10 percent, signaling a shift to a six-year low in deportation rates.

This is a decided change for an administration that had been suffering from criticism for deporting a record number of illegal immigrants. Nearly 2 million people have been removed from the country since President Obama took office. Many of the changes are attributable to new initiatives that permit previously ineligible immigrants to remain in the United States through specialized workers' programs. Further, a renewed focus has limited deportations for otherwise law-abiding immigrants, instead focusing on the removal of criminals and repeat offenders.

Even though this may seem like good news, deportation numbers are still relatively high by historical standards. Indeed, it appears that 2013 is comparable to 2008's deportation rates, with more than 369,000 individuals being removed from the country. Change is certainly slow to come, despite the vocal support from President Obama for immigration reforms that include a path to citizenship. Democratic national lawmakers are pushing the President to limit deportations throughout Texas and the rest of the nation, as they see them as damaging to the American economy. Despite these national pushes for immigration reform, local jurisdictions are encouraging their law enforcement officials to step up identification and deportation of illegal immigrants. Those efforts target both law-abiding immigrants and those with longer criminal records.

The tension between conservative and democratic forces with regards to illegal immigration leaves many immigrants in the middle, unable to live their daily lives because of fear of deportation. Otherwise law-abiding residents deserve a chance at a happy life in the United States. Those who are uncertain about their immigration status, or who are worried that a criminal conviction could lead to them losing their immigration status, may benefit from consulting a qualified immigration attorney in the state of Texas.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Deportations To Drop For First Time In A Decade: Report" No author given, Dec. 18, 2013

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