Removals of parents with U.S.-born children in fiscal 2014 fell by nearly half compared to 2013, according to data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement obtained through a public-records request. Arizona saw nearly 2,300 removals in 2014 compared to 4,413 in 2013. Nationwide, there were 39,300 removals in 2014 and more than 72,000 in 2013.
Over the last several years, the federal government has narrowed its priorities for immigration enforcement, which has resulted in fewer deportations overall, but particularly of those who claim to have children born here. The government has said it wants to focus its limited resources on convicted criminals and those who pose a threat to national security.
During the same period, deportations declined 19 percent in Arizona and 14 percent nationally, ICE data show.