The exchange happened during a town hall event sponsored by the Spanish-language television network Univision at a Washington, D.C., school.
A student, who appeared via Skype, asked: “My question for the president is, why [is the government] saying that deportations have stopped -- or the detention of many students like me, why is it that we are still receiving deportation letters like this one?”
Obama answered, “We have redesigned our enforcement practices under the law to make sure that we’re focusing primarily on criminals, and so our deportation of criminals are up about 70 percent. Our deportation of non-criminals are down, and that’s because we want to focus our resources on those folks who are destructive to the community.
“And for a young person like that young woman that we just spoke to who’s going to school, doing all the right things, we want them to succeed," Obama said.