In spite of federal government assurances that criminal undocumented immigrants are being prioritized for deportation, more than 85 percent of removal proceedings initiated in Colorado in the last fiscal year focused on those with only immigration violations.
Of 5,207 deportation cases filed in Colorado through September, 3,602 were against immigrants accused of "entry without inspection," meaning they allegedly crossed the border into the United States illegally. An additional 827 were accused of other immigration charges which can include not having a valid visa, falsely claiming citizenship or being back in the country after previously being deported.
These numbers are the latest released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a Syracuse University-based non-profit that compiles data based on numbers obtained by Freedom of Information Act requests.
The numbers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, show the breakdown of offenses behind deportation proceedings has changed little since the previous year when around 83 percent of those targeted for removal from the country were charged only with immigration offenses.
That means the reasons behind deportations haven't budged since the Obama administration, the Dept. of Justice and ICE announced earlier this year that criminals would be the priority targets for deportation.
Immigrants charged with or convicted of aggravated felonies or other criminal charges made up 14 percent of those targeted for deportation in Colorado this year. Those charged with national security violations made up 1.67 percent.