President Barack Obama’s immigration okey-doke on being the ‘deporter-in-chief’ has been exposed as a lie by examinations of ICE records that show that not only are total deportations plummeting, but deportations of criminals has been gutted even as Obama promised to ‘prioritize’ enforcement against them. And it turns out ICE has redefined ‘criminal’ to mislead and pad the number of criminals deported.
Less than one year ago on November 20, 2014 Obama gave a prime time White House address to the nation announcing his ‘executive action amnesty’ in which he said he was prioritizing resources by focusing on deporting criminal immigrants rather than other illegal aliens whom he said were not a ‘threat to our security’.
“Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we’re also a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable -– especially those who may be dangerous. That’s why, over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80 percent. And that’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security. Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids. We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.”
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A recent study by the Associated Press of deportations in Fiscal Year 2015 compared with a comprehensive study of deportations covering FY 2008-2013 by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University shows that in the year after Obama gave his immigration speech promising to focus on deporting criminal immigrants, deportations in FY 2015 of immigrants defined by ICE as criminals was about 136,700 as opposed to 216,810 in FY 2013– a stunning drop-off of nearly fifty percent in just two years.
The sharp drop in deportations of criminals coincided with an overall gutting of deportations by Obama. The AP reported overall deportations for FY 2015 were down forty-two percent since FY 2012–the peak year for deportations under Obama–231,000 from 409,849.
To make the Obama immigration okey-doke even more insulting, the Obama administration has jacked up the number of immigrants deported for immigration and traffic violations–both categories normally classified as misdemeanors according to TRAC–while cutting down on deportations of those convicted of serious criminal offenses.
“ICE currently uses an exceedingly broad definition of criminal behavior: even very minor infractions are included. For example, anyone with a traffic ticket for exceeding the speed limit on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway who sends in their check to pay their fine has just entered ICE’s “convicted criminal” category. If the same definitions were applied to every citizen — rather than just to noncitizens — available evidence (see TRAC’s February 2012 report) suggests that the majority of U.S. citizens would be considered convicted criminals. (Obviously, many individuals who engage in such illegal behaviors are never ticketed or charged.) Indeed, if truth be known it is likely that almost everyone — members of the public and government officials alike — would have to admit that they have engaged in “criminal” behavior as ICE uses that term.”
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IN FY 2010 immigrants deported for traffic and immigration violations numbered 78,888 compared to the deportation of 116,884 immigrants with more serious criminal convictions.
Three years later in FY 2013 the number of immigrants deported for traffic and immigration violations shot up by one-third to 102,061 while deportations of immigrants with more serious criminal convictions dropped over ten percent to 103,676, as noted by TRAC in its study of FY 2008-2013 deportations .
“In fact, after Director Morton on June 30 of 2010 directed a renewed focus on finding and deporting “convicted criminals” who posed a serious threat to public safety or endangered national security, the number of individuals deported who have been convicted of any criminal offense apart from an immigration or traffic violation has actually declined.”
If the fifty-fifty split from FY 2013 deportations holds true for FY 2015 it would mean that only around 50,000 immigrants with serious criminal convictions were deported–a reduction of almost sixty percent.