BELIZE CITY, Mon. Jan. 22, 2018– The United States Department of Homeland Security, through the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has released official data on the number of persons deported in 2017.
Information contained in the report, titled “Enforcement and Removal Operations”, revealed that of the 197 countries to which deportations were made, Belize ranked 47th. In 2017, a total of 82 persons were deported to Belize. This is a reduction, when compared to the 120 persons deported to Belize in 2016.
The Amandala notes that our neighbor to the north, Mexico, headed the list, with 128,765 deportations last year. Although those figures are overwhelming, they still represent a reduction from the previous year, which saw over 21,000 more Mexicans deported.
Guatemala, Belize’s neighbor to the west and south, ranked 2nd in deportations. Last year 33,570 Guatemalans were returned home, compared to 33,940 in the previous year.
Central American countries continued in 3rd and 4th places on the list of deportations. Honduras had 22,381 citizens returning home, and El Salvador received 18,838 citizens who were expelled from the United States.
Fifth and sixth on the list were two Caribbean islands, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with 5,578 and 1,986 deportations respectively.
The other nations rounding up the top ten nations with citizens deported from the US are Nicaragua, from Central America; and Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia in South America.
Jamaica saw 782 deportations in 2017, a decrease of 5 when compared to the previous year.
Our newspaper found it interesting that the People’s Republic of China was at the 12th spot in the list of deportations from the US, with 525. This represents an increase when compared to 2016.
Amandala notes that in 2016, which was the last year of the Barack Obama administration, 240,255 persons were deported from the US. The first year of the Donald Trump administration, 2017, actually saw a reduction in deportations from that country, a total of 226,119.
However, there was an increase in administrative arrests (the arrest of an undocumented individual in violation of the US’ immigration laws). Last year there were 143,470 administrative arrests, an increase of 30% when compared to 2016. Of those arrested, 92% had a criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge, were an ICE fugitive, or were processed with a reinstated final order.
According to the US agency, ICE, their report, “identifies, arrests, and removes aliens who present a danger to national security or a threat to public safety, or who otherwise undermine border control and the integrity of the U.S. immigration system.”