US deports nearly 400,000 immigrants

More than half of the total figure were convicted of criminal offences.

Washington: The US government has deported a record number of undocumented immigrants - around 400,000 - this year, officials said.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), John Morton, said 392,000 people have been deported by the ICE till September 30.

More than half of the total figure - around 195,000 - were convicted of criminal offences, the officials said.

Deportation of convicted criminals has risen by over 70 percent from levels during the Bush administration, Napolitano said.

"This administration has focused on enforcing our immigration laws in a smart, effective manner that prioritises public safety and national security and holds employers accountable who knowingly and repeatedly break the law," she said.

ICE has also stepped up operations against employers who hire undocumented immigrants, with the imposition of some USD 50 million in fines since January 2009.


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