Phoenix customs office led nation in deportations in '09


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Aug 22, 2009
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Phoenix customs office led nation in deportations in '09
Story Comments Lauren Adams For The Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Sunday, April 4, 2010 12:00 am | Comments

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UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg
Demonstrators call for immigration reform during a rally on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on October 13, 2009.

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For most of the last decade, the Phoenix office of U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement has led the country in deportations.

In 2009, the office removed more than 81,000 illegal immigrants from the state of Arizona alone. In second place was the San Antonio office, which removed nearly 58,000 illegal immigrants.

The Phoenix office, part of ICE's Office of Detention and Removal Operations, has sub-offices in Tucson and Yuma, and detention centers in Eloy and Florence.

"We get a lot of people who get moved to Arizona from California," said Vincent Picard, the ICE spokesman in Phoenix.

The cost of detaining people in Arizona is cheaper than in California. The agency spent nearly $2.5 million nationally in 2009 for detention and removal operations.

"We want to be responsible with taxpayer dollars," Picard said.

While Phoenix may be the nation's busiest office, Arizona isn't the busiest state. In 2009, Texas removed 117,300 illegal immigrants among its four offices.

Mexico consistently leads all countries of origin in the number of illegal immigrants removed. In 2009, nearly 275,000 people were returned to Mexico. Guatemala was a distant second with about 30,000 removals.

In 2009, Guatemala surpassed Honduras in removals for the first time since 2004. The Dominican Republic also passed Brazil to move into the fifth spot for the first time since 2002.

Overall removals for countries combined have steadily risen over the past decade.

Where they're being sent

U.S. deportations in 2009

Country Total Criminal

Mexico 274,577 104,140

Guatemala 30,229 6,492

Honduras 27,566 6,934

El Salvador 21,049 6,306

Dominican Republic 3,824 2,171

Brazil 3,229 379

Colombia 2,617 1,119

Ecuador 2,503 644

Nicaragua 2,142 613

Jamaica 1,620 1,252

Lauren Adams is a University of Arizona journalism student who is apprenticing at the Star. Contact her at

Posted in Border, Govt-and-politics, Lauren-adams on Sunday, April 4, 2010 12:00 am Updated: 10:53 pm. | Tags: Border, Immigration, Politics,

Phoenix customs office led nation in deportations in '09

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