High deportation figures are misleading

Article subtitle: 
Illegal aliens are less likely to be deported under 'deporter in chief' President Obama
Article author: 
Brian Bennett
Article publisher: 
Los Angeles Times
Article date: 
2 April 2014
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

Immigration [open borders] activists have sharply criticized President Obama for a rising volume of deportations, labeling him the "deporter in chief" and staging large protests that have harmed his standing with some Latinos, a key group of voters for Democrats.

...A closer examination shows that immigrants living illegally [illegal aliens] in most of the continental U.S. are less likely to be deported today than before Obama came to office, according to immigration data.

Expulsions of people who are settled and working in the United States have fallen steadily since his first year in office, and are down more than 40% since 2009.

On the other side of the ledger, the number of people deported at or near the border has gone up — primarily as a result of changing who gets counted in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's deportation statistics.

The vast majority of those border crossers would not have been treated as formal deportations under most previous administrations. If all removals were tallied, the total sent back to Mexico each year would have been far higher under those previous administrations than it is now.

The shift in who gets tallied helped the administration look tough in its early years but now may be backfiring politically...

Until recent years, most people caught illegally crossing the southern border were simply bused back into Mexico in what officials called "voluntary returns," but which critics derisively termed "catch and release."...

"If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally [illegal alien], your odds of getting deported are close to zero — it's just highly unlikely to happen," John Sandweg, until recently the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an interview...

The turn away from deporting immigrants from the interior of the country amounts to an open invitation for people to come to the U.S. on a legal visa and stay, said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

"It just cannot be the policy of the U.S. that if somebody gets past the border and gets to St. Louis or Memphis or Austin, Texas, or New York, they are not going to be deported," Sessions said. "The administration is systematically failing to enforce immigration law uniformly."


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