The number of deportations fell for the second year in a row and reached its lowest level since 2007, during the George W. Bush administration.
The decline in deportations occurred among non-criminal and criminal immigrants alike, the Pew Research Center found. "It is only the third time that the number of deportations of immigrants with a criminal conviction has fallen since at least 1981," Pew reported.
(A Pew Research Center analysis shows that between 2009 and 2014 more Mexicans were returning home to Mexico than were arriving in the U.S.)
The Obama administration also recently changed its deportation enforcement priorities, focusing exclusively on those who have been convicted of a crime; those deemed a threat to the public safety; and those who have recently crossed the border, Pew noted.
About 2.8 million immigrants have been deported by the Obama administration between 2009 and 2015, including a record 435,000 in 2013 alone, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Department of Homeland Security data. By comparison, the Bush administration deported 2 million immigrants between 2001 and 2008.
President-elect Trump has said he will deport 2 to 3 million immigrants with prior criminal convictions living in the U.S..