The Obama administration deported just 1 percent of illegal immigrants living within the interior of the U.S. last year, according to statistics released Thursday, which signals that most illegal immigrants face little chance of being kicked out of the country.

In fiscal year 2013, which ended Sept. 30, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 133,551 immigrants, down more than 25 percent from the previous year, even as the estimated number of illegal immigrants grew to 11.7 million.

The numbers underscore the lack of capacity — and of political will — to remove most illegal immigrants.

The administration said the drop in interior enforcement is deliberate as it tries to focus more on border security and recent border crossers, and to go after immigrants in the interior only if they have amassed serious criminal records.

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