U.S. last year deported fewer to Latvia

Authorities deported 267 Latvian nationals from the United States during fiscal year 2010, according to the latest statistical overview published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The number represents a more than 26 percent drop from the previous year.

Of the total, 235 aliens from Latvia were “returned,” while 32 were “removed.” Aliens who are returned are sent back to their home country without going through immigration proceedings, while removal often involves going to court.

Five of the removals involved criminal offenses.

The data come from the latest annual report on immigration enforcement actions, released in June by DHS.

In all, DHS during fiscal year 2010 returned 476,000 foreign nationals to their home country. Another 387,000 were removed—73 percent of them back to Mexico.

In fiscal year 2009, a total of 362 Latvian nationals were returned or removed from the United States.

Latvia joined the U.S. Visa Waiver Program in November 2008, meaning holders of Latvian passports can travel to America without first having to get a visa.

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