Still, as it grapples with a record number of migrant families at the southern border, the Trump administration has so far deported fewer people, on average each year, than the Obama administration.
In fiscal year 2018, the Trump administration deported 256,086 immigrants, an increase of 13 percent over the previous year. In contrast, President Barack Obama removed 409,849 people in 2012, an all-time high, and 235,413 in fiscal year 2015.
In the first two quarters of the 2019 fiscal year, the Trump administration deported 130,432 people, up from 123,253 during the same period the previous year.
Mr. Obama directed immigration authorities to target for arrest and removal convicted criminals, migrants who had crossed the border recently and those who had illegally entered the country multiple times. Mr. Trump has said that anyone agents encounter who is living in the country illegally is fair game for detention and removal.
Indeed, on Monday the Trump administration said that it would accelerate the deportation of undocumented immigrants who cannot prove they have been in the United States for more than two years, enabling federal agents to arrest and deport people without a hearing before a judge.
The expansion of a so-called expedited removals program, which is expected to be challenged in court, could result in people being deported without a court hearing and could affect their ability to seek asylum in the United States.
Just last week, the administration announced it would deny protections
to immigrants who failed to apply for asylum in at least one country they passed through on their way north, in its latest attempt to deter Central Americans from heading to the United States. That policy was challenged in court
by a coalition of immigrant advocates one day after it was announced.