The current administration likes to point out that they are strong on immigration enforcement:
Immigration officials announced last week that President Obama has deported more than 1.9 million people since first taking office, more than any other previous administration.
Sounds tough, right? Nearly 2,000,000 people “gone”. More than even Bush.
A key talking point for proponents of amnesty for illegal aliens is that the Obama administration has made historic improvements to border security and immigration enforcement, leading to “record” numbers of deportations that surpass the performance of earlier administrations. In December 2012, John Morton, then-director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), announced that his agency had removed nearly 410,000 illegal aliens that year. Major news outlets, pro-amnesty lawmakers, and other Obama administration allies heralded this apparent milestone as evidence that the border and illegal immigration were now under control.
But what do the numbers say?
In 2012, 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 would never have been counted as a removal in prior years. In 2008, under the Bush administration, only one-third of removals were from Border Patrol arrests.
When claiming record levels of enforcement, the Obama administration appears to count only removals, which are just one form of deportation, and only a partial measure of enforcement. Beginning in 2011, a shift of some of the routine Border Patrol case load to ICE enabled the administration to count an artificially high number of removals.
ICE is doing less enforcement with more resources. Despite reporting more encounters in 2013 than 2012, ICE agents pursued deportation of 20 percent fewer aliens this year than last.
ICE is carrying a case load of 1.8 million aliens who are either in removal proceedings or have already been ordered removed. Less than two percent are in detention, which is the only proven way to ensure departure.
As of the end of July 2013 there were 872,000 aliens – nearly half of ICE’s total docket – who had been ordered removed but who had not left the country.
No one alive thinks that Obama is strong on immigration enforcement; he’s pro-amnesty.