‘Record Deportations’ Haven’t Happened

Published on December 3rd, 2013

The Obama Administration has systematically sabotaged enforcement of our country’s immigration laws. This particularly applies to enforcement of those laws in the interior of the U.S., a job tasked to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

In 2010 the union representing ICE agents, the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, approved a memo stating that the leaders of ICE under Obama have “abandoned the agency’s core mission of enforcing United States Immigration law and providing for public safety, and have instead directed their attention to campaigning for programs and policies related to amnesty.”

A year later after President Obama unilaterally proclaimed legal status for illegal aliens in the Dream Act category, Chris Crane, president of the union stated, “[T]his is one of many new ICE policies in queue aimed at stopping the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws in the United States.”

But while carrying out this policy, the administration has tried to give the impression that it is effectively enforcing immigration laws by claiming that it has conducted “record deportations” of illegal aliens. This claim is useful as it presses for legislation to grant amnesty to all of the 12 million illegal aliens in the United States. In effect the administration is saying to skeptics of its immigration policies, “Let us have amnesty; after that you can trust us to enforce immigration laws.”

Such trust would be unjustified, as President Obama’s own words attest. Many Obama supporters who want amnesty were upset about the claim of “record deportations.” They want amnesty without enforcement. To reassure them, Obama told a roundtable of Hispanic reporters that the alleged record figures were “a little deceptive.”

The president went on to explain that, to a large extent, they did not involve what people usually take the word “deportation” to mean, i.e., removing resident aliens from the interior. What significantly boosted the total was sending border crossers back across the border, many of whom had only been in the U.S. for a day or two.

Commenting on this new concept of deportation, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) observed: “In 2011, the year the Obama Administration claimed to break enforcement records, more than one-half of removals attributed to ICE were the result of Border Patrol arrests that never would have been counted … in prior years.” CIS also pointed out: “The number of deportations resulting from interior enforcement by ICE declined by 19 percent from 2011 to 2012, and is on track to decline another 22 percent in 2013.”

In other words, confirming what the ICE union and its president charged, the administration has sharply curtailed the ability of ICE to conduct internal enforcement. And this has happened, notes CIS, even as funding for the agency has increased. Obama clearly doesn’t want any substantial number of the resident illegal aliens, almost 12 million, sent home.

Nor does the administration appear interested in stopping future illegal immigration, as evidenced once again by its crippling of ICE. It doesn’t matter a great deal what our country does about the border if internal enforcement is ineffective. In point of fact, about 40 percent of illegal aliens do not cross the border illegally. They come on temporary legal visas and then remain in violation of the law. As for the border crossers, they have every incentive to keep coming if they have little to fear once here. All they need is one successful entry.

The administration’s “record deportations” are truly deceptive, and not just to a small extent. With immigration, one can trust the administration – to be untrustworthy.

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