More illegal immigrants with criminal convictions are being deported in recent years, driving up the number of people being removed from the United States, according to data from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
At the same time, deportation numbers for those deemed noncriminals have declined.
Of the 350,000 people deported this year, more than half had criminal convictions, a 55 percent increase since 2008, ICE data show.
By contrast, noncriminal deportations — which include voluntary returns — have dropped 30 percent.
Regional numbers echo the national trend. Criminal deportations from the San Francisco office, which oversees ICE operations from Bakersfield to the Oregon border, are up about 12 percent. Noncriminal deportations are down 29 percent.
ICE officials said the trend shows a shift in the agency's priorities to focus on removing the most dangerous criminals from the country.
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