Deportations are having a particularly pronounced impact on Latinos, a new report finds.
The report, released by three Latino organizations, shows that Latinos are disproportionately affected by deportations. In 2013 alone, nearly 97 percent of all immigrants deported were Latinos. Yet about 75 percent of the nation’s 11.7 million undocumented immigrants are Latinos, according data from the Pew Research Center.
“When the administration reaches the two million deportations mark — likely later this year — the number of Latino deportees will equal the populations of Wyoming, Vermont, and North Dakota combined,” the report states.
The report was released Tuesday by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). The principle author of the report is Jose Magaña-Salgado, MALDEF staff attorney.
According to the report, Latin American countries represent the top 10 countries with the highest rate of deported nationals in 2013.
At the top of the list is Mexico, making up 66 percent of all deportations. Coming at a distant second is Guatemala with 13 percent, followed by Honduras with 10 percent and El Salvador with 6 percent.
Why do deportations disproportionately affect Latinos?
The report also states that the overrepresentation of Latinos in deportations is not only a result of Latinos making up a large percent of the undocumented immigrant population. It’s also a result of discriminatory policies that have been implemented at the federal, state and local level.
For example, the report points to the Obama administration’s implementation of Secure Communities, a federal program that allows local police and immigration officials to share fingerprints data of individuals who are arrested or booked into custody in order to identify undocumented immigrants.
It describes Secure Communities as a program that “is significantly more destructive to the Latino community, sweeping up individuals charged with misdemeanors, civil immigration violations, or, in some cases, with nothing at all.”
At the state level, the report states that some recently enacted immigration laws “criminalize the mere presence of undocumented immigrants and empower state and/or local police officers to enforce immigration laws.” Such laws include Arizona’s SB 1070, which allows police officers to check the immigration status of individuals if they suspect they are undocumented.
Furthermore, the report also states that municipalities and cities have enacted ordinances that are meant to target undocumented immigrants and exclude them from critical services. Just this week, the Supreme Court let stand a local ordinance in Nebraska that prohibits undocumented immigrants from renting homes.
The report concludes by noting that deportations are having a “devastating” effect on Latino families. According to the report, many Latino families face high rates of poverty, unemployment and single-parent households.
“Deportations exacerbate these existing conditions, hampering families by often removing the sole source of income, further increasing economic uncertainty,” the report states. “In other cases, deportation leads to the removal of both parents, leaving children in care of relatives or the foster care system.”
Looking ahead, the report states Latinos will continue to “disproportionately” suffer from deportations unless President Barack Obama offers administrative relief to some undocumented immigrants in the absence of immigration reform.