7 Numbers That Tell the Story of an Immigration Boss's Tenure

PHOTO: Morton

Federal immigration agents will have a new boss soon.

John Morton, the head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), announced his resignation in an internal memo on Monday, saying he'll leave the agency at the end of July.

See Also: 8 Photos That Show How DREAMers Got Deportation Relief

Morton was a somewhat contentious figure during his four-year tenure in charge of the agency, which is tasked with tracking down and deporting undocumented immigrants, among other responsibilities.

He enacted Obama administration policies for prioritizing immigrant deportations, focusing on foreign criminals in the U.S. over other immigrants. That angered immigration agents who thought he was undermining their mission.

At the same time, however, he oversaw record numbers of removals. Immigrant rights activists saw that as a serious problem.

Here are some numbers that sum up Morton's time at ICE:

409,849: The number of deportations by the agency in 2012. The removals kept Obama on an historic pace for deporting immigrants during his first term in office.

55 percent: The percentage of immigrants deported by ICE in 2012 who were convicted criminals. That number was up from 38 percent in 2009, when Morton took the helm at the agency. But those figures need a bit of perspective, so take a look at this figure:

69 percent: The percentage of deportations that were of non-criminals or low-level offenders in 2011. In that year, nearly half of those deported by ICE were non-criminals, and 24 percent were convicted of a simple misdemeanor. So even with the agency's increased focus on criminal offenders, serious criminals did not make up the bulk of deportees.

June 17, 2011: The date Morton signed and issued a memo allowing immigration agents to use "prosecutorial discretion" when deciding which immigrants should be subject to removal from the U.S. The memo gives the agency the ability to focus its resources on certain immigration offenders while ignoring others.

3,074: The number of local jurisdictions across the country with Secure Communities, a federal program to identify undocumented immigrants among suspects who have been arrested. The program has grown exponentially since it was launched in 2008, and it's now in 97 percent of jurisdictions nationwide.

$5.9 billion: The budget for ICE in the 2012 fiscal year. That's up 87 percent from what it was in 2005.

7,700: The number of ICE employees represented by a union that has openly opposed Morton. Leaders in the union, called the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, cast a unanimous no-confidence vote against Morton in 2010, voting 259-0.

The reason was because Morton prioritized deporting convicted criminals first, according to what Chris Crane, the head of the union, told a Senate committee last February.

"With 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S., ICE agents are now prohibited from arresting illegal aliens solely on charges of illegal entry or visa overstay -- the two most frequently violated sections of U.S. immigration law," Crane said.

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