Somali deportations — some numbers

A few weeks ago, I did a story about the U.S. resuming deportations to Somalia.

Because Immigration and Customs Enforcement wouldn’t release the number of people with deportation orders pending, I directed my query to the Executive Office for Immigration Review at Department of Justice, to see how many Somalis have been ordered deported by immigration judges.

Keep in mind these are national numbers, although it’s worth noting that Minnesota has the highest Somali population in the country. So far, ICE has confirmed 24 Somalis have been deported in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

The “Removal” column are people who have been given a final order of deportation (the pool of people who could be subject to deportation, now that they’ve resumed). “Relief” means relief from deportation, for example, they’ve been granted asylum. “Termination” means the case is terminated without a deportation order, and “Other” means the case is administratively closed, often due to a change of venue. (More in-depth glossary here)

I’m curious why the Somali case numbers were so high in 2001 and 2002, but a spokesman from ICE says the agency has a policy not to comment on numbers released by other agencies.

Another wrinkle might be how sequestration affects the pace of deportations. I also reported federal budget cuts were forcing cutbacks in the number of people held in ICE custody.

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