AP Images

The issue of immigration has come to the forefront of the 2016 election. While some Republican candidates, like Trump, have supported a hardline stance on the issue, others, like Bush and Rubio, have taken more moderate positions.

Regardless, immigration will continue to dominate the upcoming debates, with the issue of deportation vs. amnesty especially divisive.

To gain a broader perspective on the issue, InsideGov looked back at historical immigration statistics. Using data from the Department of Homeland Security’s Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, InsideGov found the total number of deportations for each presidential administration.

In general, deportations from the U.S. have increased greatly over the last few decades. Here’s how each president ranks in terms of total deportations:


1. The Department of Homeland Security defines deportation as the lawful expulsion of an undesired alien or other person from the United States. Under current definitions, deportation is measured by summing removals and returns in a given year.

2. Removals are defined as the compulsory and confirmed departure of a noncitizen based on an order of removal. Returns are defined as the confirmed departure of a removable noncitizen not based on an order of removal (e.g. a grant of voluntary departure).

3. Data on “removals” goes back to 1892, while data on returns goes back to 1927. Therefore, the total deportation numbers for the first presidents on this list are likely underestimates.

#21. Grover Cleveland

Total Deportations: 9,069

#20. William McKinley

Total Deportations: 13,763

#19. Warren G. Harding

Total Deportations: 60,652

#18. Theodore Roosevelt

Total Deportations: 80,269

#17. William Howard Taft

Total Deportations: 83,150

#16. John F. Kennedy

Total Deportations: 122,753

#15. Woodrow Wilson

Total Deportations: 162,371

#14. Herbert Hoover

Total Deportations: 170,044

#13. Calvin Coolidge

Total Deportations: 199,871

#12. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Total Deportations: 286,816

#11. Lyndon B. Johnson

Total Deportations: 740,175

#10. Richard Nixon

Total Deportations: 2,014,334

#9. Gerald Ford

Total Deportations: 2,412,244

#8. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Total Deportations: 2,616,732

#7. Harry Truman

Total Deportations: 2,944,384

#6. Jimmy Carter

Total Deportations: 3,633,256

#5. Barack Obama

Total Deportations: 3,805,552

#4. George H. W. Bush

Total Deportations: 4,161,683

#3. Ronald Reagan

Total Deportations: 8,276,853

#2. George W. Bush

Total Deportations: 10,328,850

#1. Bill Clinton

Total Deportations: 12,290,905

Research U.S. Presidents on InsideGov