Donald Trump vs Barack Obama: Key deportation stats

U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Former U.S. President Barack Obama wait to exit the east front steps for the departure ceremony during the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017. More than 5,000 military members from across all branches of the armed forces of the United States, including reserve and National Guard components, provided ceremonial support and Defense Support of Civil Authorities during the inaugural period. (DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)

Political pundits are always comparing the policies between the two administrations – Trump and Obama. With the entire nation’s focus on ICE raids and deportations, let’s look at how the two presidents have fared on this issue so far. Of course, Trump has been a president for only two years so the only data available to us is for the fiscal years 2017-2018.

Here are the key highlights (source: ICE)

  • Over 3 million illegal aliens were removed during Obama’s presidency (Fiscal year 2009 – 2016)
  • The highest percentage of convicted criminals (49%) under Obama’s presidency deported or removed was in the year 2011.
  • Over 550,000 illegal aliens have been deported or removed under Trump presidency so far (Fiscal year 2017-2018)
  • 57% of removed or deported individuals in 2018 had criminal history. This is the highest percentage of deported aliens with a criminal history in the past 10 years.
  • As per Pew Research, the number of illegal immigrants in the USA was 10.5 million. This was a 14% drop from a peak of 12.2 million illegal immigrants in 2007.

Graph showing trend of illegal aliens removed with criminal history

What does all this mean for 2020 presidential elections?

With the imminent 2020 elections, deportations happened during Obama’s presidency is adversely impacting the former Vice-president. Joe Biden, who is the current front runner for DNC primary, is facing heat for his role during the deportations that happened during Obama presidency.

Biden’s campaign HQ in Philadelphia, PA was briefly occupied by anti-deportation activists, which also led to six arrests.

This is allowing the likes of Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren to capitalize and shrink the lead between them and the front-runner Biden.

Why the sudden focus on ICE raids?

It all started when Donald Trump tweeted on June 22 mentioning that ICE raids will be happening in ten major cities including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. As part of this raid, 2000 people are targetted who are already served with deportation orders.

The decision has been met with strong criticism from the Democratic party. ACLU has released a memo on Know your rights if ICE knocks at your door which has been doing the rounds on the internet.

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