An estimated 11 million immigrants are in the U.S. illegally. Early in the campaign, Donald Trump said he would deport all of them. After the election, Trump vowed to deport quickly some two million to three million unauthorized immigrants he said have been convicted of crimes, the New York Times reports. He may be basing this number on a 2012 government estimate that there were 1.9 million “removable criminal aliens.” That number included more than one million immigrants who were here legally, with green cards or temporary visas.
There are about 820,000 unauthorized immigrants who have been convicted of crimes, says the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group. If Trump targeted only those with serious offenses, the number becomes even smaller. About 690,000 of the 820,000 were convicted of felonies or serious misdemeanors. The Obama administration has already pursued policies that focus on removing people with criminal records. In 2015, the majority of people deported were convicted criminals.