Here in San Diego, and across the nation’s southwest border, officials are trying to cope with a recent surge in immigrantion. Homeland Security officials recently released a report showing a 15 percent increase in border immigrantion in the year that ended this past September.

Department of Homeland Security officials say just over 530,000 immigrants were taken into custody in that period, with 450,954 returned to their home countries.

While many U.S. citizens assume that most migrants coming across the border are from Mexico, the reality is that the majority of those apprehended are from Central American countries. Officials say immigrants are fleeing high crime and violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Human rights advocates say the federal government should drastically reduce deportations and instead treat the surge as a refugee crisis in which the U.S. extends a helping hand.

Officials say their priority now is to remove immigrants who have been convicted of crimes. Officials say that the numbers of deportations is falling, down from a high of 400,000 during President Obama’s first term in office.

Homeland Security statistics indicate that almost 84 percent of people removed from the U.S. in fiscal year 2016 were “national security threats, convicted felons or ‘aggravated felons,’ criminal gang participants, and illegal entrants apprehended at the border.”

The senior director of international migration policy at the Center for Migration Studies says the shift in priorities is too little to change Obama’s legacy “as a deporter, not a reformer.”

An experienced San Diego immigrantion attorney can help fight detention and deportation. Contact the Law Offices of Jan Joseph Bejar, A Professional Law Corporation, for more information.