The United States deported more than 154,000 Mexicans and Central Americans in the 2008 fiscal year, in a 46 percent rise on the previous year, an official statement said here Thursday. More than 212,000 were deported altogether, with almost three quarters from Mexico and Central America, according to the statement released by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the border town of McAllen, Texas. Most -- 82,000 -- were Mexicans, many who had crossed their country's 2,000-mile (3170-kilometer) land border with the southern United States. All countries saw a rise apart from Nicaragua, which had a slight drop to just over 2,000 deportations. The United States deported immigrants to 190 countries, and carried out more than 4,000 deportation flights, compared with almost 3,000 in the previous US fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30. The number of illegal immigrants has fallen drastically due to a string of measures including an expanding border fence -- currently 500-miles-long -- along the southern border, US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday in Washington. The fence has been controversial and has faced several lawsuits, none successful so far.