Part of Obama’s immigration policy changes included a new focus on which undocumented immigrants should first be scrutinized for potential deportation. The Secure Communities program, a controversial deportation program that relies on partnership among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, has also been replaced with one that is more narrowly focused.

The authors of the report estimate that about 13 percent of the 11 million undocumented foreigners living in the United States, or a few 1.4 million people, will fall within these categories, making them the priority targets for deportations after the entry into force of the new regulations.

Overall, according to the report, the U.S. population of illegal immigrants has remained “roughly constant” in recent years, despite surges.

The report by the independent immigration study center said that the net effect of the new policies will be a reduction in deportations from the United States.

“Had the United States not allowed so many new illegal immigrants to settle in the country since 2009, the total number of illegal immigrants would have fallen by 2.5 million”. These estimates have a margin of error of 10 percent. Like its predecessor Secure Communities, the program uses fingerprint data to identify potentially deportable noncitizens when the Federal Bureau of Investigation performs criminal background checks for local police.

“Hopefully, DHS will further (home) in and direct law enforcement resources on those who really pose a threat to our security”, said Beth Werlin, policy director at the American Immigration Council.

ICE released 36,000 criminal illegal immigrants in 2013.

The Priority Enforcement Program tried to answer those concerns. Another difference is that Homeland Security will negotiate detainer policies with individual jurisdictions on a case-by-case basis. This last time he came to San Francisco because that liberal-Democratic city is a “sanctuary” city, wherein the city refuses to work with federal immigration authorities to arrest and deport illegals. The legislation passed largely along party lines with a vote of 241-179.

A record number of people were deported in 2011, with 180,000 immigrants, who had committed crimes, being expelled.

The revelation that illegal immigration numbers were actually higher during the previous administration could create trouble for a GOP continuously attempting to sell itself as being tough on immigration.