Undocumented immigrants in the United States will end 2011 facing more deportations, fewer jobs and the endless uncertainty about whether Congress will approve laws that allow them come out of the shadows.
Though several Democratic leaders in the Senate say there are “glimmers of hope” in a presidential electoral year for some part of a comprehensive immigration reform to be enacted, what is certain is that 2011 saw a relentless siege against those living in the country illegally.
According to official figures, in fiscal year 2011 the authorities deported 396,906 undocumented foreigners - about 27,000 more than in the final year of the George W. Bush presidency.
Roughly 55 percent of this year’s deportees had criminal records.
The figures also show that the Obama administration, which has deported more than 1 million undocumented foreigners since 2009, has beaten the record number of deportations during eight years under Bush.
But apparently neither the increase in arrests and deportations nor the decline in illegal border crossings - due to the recession and job scarcity, among other factors - is enough to appease groups demanding the expulsion of everyone without immigration papers.