Deportation numbers declining - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Deportation numbers declining

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KENNEWICK, Wash.—The Obama administration has deported about 400,000 illegal immigrations nationwide every year for the past three years, but a policy first implemented in June called "prosecutorial discretion" is lowering that number.

For the 2010 fiscal year, 9,833 illegal immigrants were deported.  48% were criminals.  For the 2011 fiscal year, 7,607 were deported.  69% were criminals.  And, so far for the 2012 fiscal year, 2,177 have been deported.  65% were criminals.

Under "prosecutorial discretion" cases are evaluated.  Low priority illegal immigrants such as victims of domestic violence, witnesses to crime, and illegal immigrants charged with minor traffic violations are not deported.  Each person not removed saves about $23,000 to $30,000 of taxpayer dollars.

"These people are the ones that are basically putting the food on the table of every person that's listening to this today, and they're undocumented because there's no way they can get legal status if you're a farm worker doing the work in this economy that Americans refuse to do," say Tom Roach, Immigration Attorney.

Many who are against the policy say they illegal immigrants are taking the jobs of Americans.