A year after the Obama administration spelled out new priorities for immigration authorities, deportations are down markedly in Minnesota and neighboring states. Nationally, they dropped more than 25 percent over the 2014 fiscal year. The government also closed thousands of cases of immigrants like Bermudez who do not fit the guidelines, allowing them to stay for now.
The new guidelines, which sharpen a focus on felons and recent border crossers, were overshadowed by the centerpiece of Obama’s executive action on immigration last November: a plan to shield parents of U.S. citizens from deportation. But while that plan remains mired in a court battle, the new deportation priorities are quietly reshaping immigration enforcement.
“These new guidelines have had a big impact,” said Susan Koberstein, a Twin Cities immigration attorney.