CMC – The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said Jamaicans were among the top 10 groups of nationals deported in 2013.

In announcing the year-end removal numbers on Dec. 26, ICE officials said the top 10 groups deported hailed from Latin American and the Caribbean.

ICE reported that 1,119 Jamaicans were deported in the 2013 fiscal year, while 2,462 nationals from the Dominican Republic were also deported.

Those numbers are vastly smaller, however than the number of Mexicans deported. ICE officials said Mexico continues to be the leading country of origin for those who are removed from the United States, followed by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

The figures for Mexico show 241,493 deportees; Guatemala 47,769; Honduras 37,049; El Salvador 21,602; Ecuador 1,616; Brazil 1,500; Colombia 1,429; and Nicaragua 1,383.

ICE said 98 percent of the agency’s total removals were convicted criminals, recent border crossers, illegal re-entrants or those previously removed in line with the agency’s enforcement priorities.

Ice officials said the figures highlight the agency’s ongoing commitment to primary immigration enforcement missions: the apprehension of criminal aliens and other immigration violators in the interior of the United States; and the detention and removal of individuals apprehended by ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, ICE said.

ICE’s acting director, John Sandweg, said the 2013 numbers make clear that “We are enforcing our nation’s laws in a smart and effective way, meeting our enforcement priorities by focusing on convicted criminals while also continuing to secure our nation’s borders in partnership with CBP.”