Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
The Obama administration is floating a rationale through the media that Congress has not provided the resources to enforce immigration laws as justification for the expected pronouncement by President Barack Obama by the end of summer to grant legal status to millions of illegal aliens.
Josh Lederman reported for the AP on Wednesday:
“…as a self-imposed, end-of-summer deadline to act approaches, Obama’s lawyers are carefully crafting a legal rationale they believe will withstand scrutiny and survive any court challenges, administration officials say.
“The argument goes something like this: Beyond failing to fix broken immigration laws, Congress hasn’t even provided the government with enough resources to fully enforce the laws already on the books. With roughly 11.5 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally — far more than the government could reasonably deport — the White House believes it has wide latitude to prioritize which of those individuals should be sent home.”
That excuse is a fraud.
Congress has not cut funding for enforcement yet under Obama annual total deportations have plummeted to half that of his predecessor, President George W. Bush, to numbers not seen since the combined administrations of Presidents Nixon and Ford in the 1970s.
Obama has been nicknamed the ‘deporter-in-chief’ by amnesty advocates playing the inside/outside game with the administration of applying public pressure on Obama against deportations while at the same time engaging in private meetings strategizing for amnesty with Obama and his administration.
The ‘deporter-in-chief’ nickname plays on an Obama sleight-of-hand on deportation numbers that on the surface indicate Obama has been tough on illegal immigration. The real numbers reveal an astonishing gutting of immigration enforcement by Obama.
As reported by Byron York at the Washington Examiner Wednesday evening in an article entitled No, Our Immigration System Is Not Broken, total annual deportations under Obama have dropped by over 200,000 in two years from 857,306 in 2010 to 649,352 in 2012 according to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) statistics.
A Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report by Jessica Vaughan published in December 2013 contrasted the annual average of Obama’s total deportations with previous administrations going back to the 1950s.
Obama’s average is about 800,000 through 2012, the latest year available from DHS. President Richard Nixon averaged about 400,000 and President Gerald Ford about 800,000. From the Reagan years through Bush 43 the average total deportations topped one million every year. That came to a sudden halt under Obama.
According to CIS the average of annual total deportations under President George W. Bush was 1,291,106.
Under Obama in 2012 that number was halved to 649,352.
A question that needs to be answered is what has Obama done with the money Congress appropriated for deportations that he is not spending on deportations?
An excerpt from York’s article details the Obama’s deportation numbers and categories of deportees. York’s analysis doesn’t mention that while Obama has indeed curtailed interior immigration, enforcement he has also pulled back border enforcement: Witness the welcome mat rolled out for illegal alien children and families by the Obama administration in 2013 and 2014.
“Then there is border security and interior enforcement. The 2012 DHS Yearbook includes a figure called “Aliens Apprehended,” which counts illegal immigrants caught at the border and in the states. The number has been going down through the Obama administration —from 869,828 in 2009 to 752,307 in 2010 to 641,601 in 2011 to 643,474 in 2012. (The 2012 figure is lower than any year since 1973.) Some of the decrease is due to the fact that a weak U.S. economy attracts fewer illegal immigrants. But much of it is because the Obama administration has made a deliberate decision to downgrade interior enforcement.
“As for deportations, the illegal immigrants sent home by the U.S. each year fall into two broad categories: those who are “removed” from the country and those who are “returned” to their home countries. There’s a difference. Removal is the more serious of the two; an illegal immigrant is deemed removed from the U.S. based on an order by a judge or immigration authorities and will face criminal penalties if he tries to come back. An illegal immigrant who is returned is sent back to his home country but would not face criminal penalties if he tries to return to the U.S. illegally and is eligible to come to the U.S. legally in the future.
“The number of removals has gone up each year pretty steadily for the last 20 years, including during the Obama administration. The most recent numbers were 383,031 removals in 2010; 388,409 in 2011; and 419,384 in 2012. But the number of returns has fallen dramatically under Obama: 474,275 in 2010 to 322,164 in 2011 to 229,968 in 2012. If you add removals and returns together, total deportations have fallen significantly under Obama: 857,306 in 2010 to 710,573 in 2011 to 649,352 in 2012.
“Does that mean the system is broken? No — it means the Obama administration has made a policy decision to expel fewer people who entered the country illegally.”