One of the left’s most oft-repeated criticisms of President Obama is that he’s too tough on illegal immigrants, deporting far too many of them back to their homelands in Latin America and elsewhere.
Progressives have called him “the deportation president” and the “deporter in chief.”
Take, for instance, the recent article by Tim Rogers for Fusion.com titled “Obama has deported more immigrants than any other president. Now he’s running up the score,” in which he bemoans “the Obama administration’s recent wave of police-state raids on Central American women and children, whose only crime is poverty and a lack of proper paperwork.”
Stats released Monday by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., show it’s all a charade.
The data, which Sessions gathered from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, shows deportations have decreased precipitously under the Obama administration – especially deportations of illegals from the interior of the United States.
In fiscal 2012, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 409,849 aliens from the United States, with 180,970 coming from the interior of the United States. In 2015, ICE removed 235,413 aliens, with only 69,478 coming from the interior.
The bottom line is that ICE removed nearly 43 percent fewer total aliens in 2015 than it did in 2012 – and nearly 62 percent fewer illegals from the nation’s interior.
This dramatic decline in deportations is the direct result of policies implemented by the Obama administration to get around laws passed by Congress, Sessions said in the release.
“Indeed, the guise was to assert that the government lacked the resources to deport more aliens,” he said.
Former ICE Director John Morton issued a memorandum in March of 2011 outlining ICE’s purported enforcement “priorities,” and claimed that setting such priorities was necessary because ICE “only has resources to remove approximately 400,000 aliens per year, less than 4 percent of the estimated illegal alien population in the United States.”
The administration has used this line repeatedly, even citing it in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. This excuse also appeared in a Memorandum Opinion written by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel in late 2014 in its attempt to justify the administration’s latest policies – stating that “DHS has explained that although there are approximately 11.3 million undocumented aliens in the country, it has the resources to remove fewer than 400,000 such aliens each year.”
But the facts speak otherwise, says Sessions, chairman of the Senate subcommittee on immigration and the national interest.
“Notwithstanding the administration’s claims of limited resources, ICE’s budget for detention and removal operations has grown substantially – from $2,750,843,000 in 2012, to $3,431,444,000 in 2015. Moreover, just last year, the administration shifted $113 million away from ICE’s budget for detention and removal of aliens.”
So while ICE’s detention and removal budget grew approximately 25 percent from 2012 to 2015, the total number of aliens it deported decreased by nearly 43 percent.
Fewer criminal aliens deported as well
In addition, ICE removed 235,390 criminal aliens from the United States in 2012, as compared with 139,368 in 2015 – meaning it deported nearly 41 percent fewer criminal aliens last year with 25 percent more resources than it had in FY 2012.
William Gheen, president and founder of Americans for Less Immigration, or ALIPAC, said Obama was able to easily fool the public into thinking he was deporting more illegals than his predecessors by manipulating one key piece of data.
In his first term, Obama “hyper-inflated” the deportation rate by counting same-day deportations of Mexicans which prior administrations did not count as deportations.
“The majority of deportations used to occur when border agents would stop illegals at the border and those OTMs (other than Mexicans) were given a court date and released for hearings they never showed up for,” Gheen said.
The Mexicans who were caught at the border, by contrast, were returned that same day without be counted as “deportations.”
Obama decided to start counting those quickly-returned Mexicans to give an appearance of border enforcement that was not happening in practice, Gheen said.
The establishment media dutifully reported these numbers without explaining the sneaky change in the way deportations were being logged, making it seem as though Obama was earning his nickname among progressives as “the deportation president.”
Using unmarked vans to transport illegals into U.S.
Gheen says the mask has come off more recently, but writers like Rogers continue to peddle the lie that Obama is the deporter in chief.
“Now as we get closer to the end of his term, he is no longer even pretending to enforce the border,” Gheen said.
“Obama has ordered our agents to complete the job the drug-smuggling cartels used to perform – transporting them into the interior of the United States in unmarked vans,” he said.
This change was made after activists had stopped the DHS-marked buses from hauling illegals last year into Oracle, Texas, and Murrieta, California.
“DHS now uses unmarked vehicles to transport them into the interior where they are provided with housing, health care, education, food, clothing and cell phones. They’re given a court date, but there’s no consequences for not showing up.”
The illegals are now complaining that Border Patrol is taking too long to pick them up, Gheen said.
“And these are the same illegals that House Speaker Paul Ryan and John Boehner before him are trying to help Obama make permanent residents so they can eventually help overthrow of the U.S. republic by electing democratic socialists in all the elections they could ever want.”