In 2014, President Obama said immigration officials would make it a priority to deport immigrants who had committed serious crimes. “We’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security,” Obama said. “Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids.” Data detailing over 300,000 deportations since Obama’s speech, show that has not been the case, the Marshall Project reports. About 60 percent were of immigrants with no criminal conviction or whose only crime was immigration-related, such as illegal entry or re-entry. Twenty-one percent were convicted of nonviolent crimes other than immigration. Under 20 percent had potentially violent convictions, such as assault, DUI or weapons offenses.
The data were supplied by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. They give a detailed breakdown of 308,088 deportations between November 2014 and April 2016, including each deportee’s most serious criminal conviction. Roughly 11 percent of all the deportations were for drug offenses, totaling nearly 33,000 people since November 2014. Almost a third of those crimes were marijuana-related.