To listen to the spin, you’d think the United States was awash in people living illegally within our borders. You’d have heard how states need to act, and even how vigilantism is justified, because the federal government “isn’t doing its job.” It’s time for a reality check. Here are some hard facts from the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
As I have pointed out previously, the number of illegals residing in the United States has decreased by roughly one million since 2006. This is the result of efforts begun under the Bush administration and continuing under the Obama administration.
Reported separately here on June 10, 2010, two operations, one during Bush, the second during Obama, reported netting more than 3000 drug traffickers and impounding over 74 tons of illicit drugs, along with weapons and hundreds of millions of dollars in cash. Both operations were coordinated with the government of Mexico.
Today there are additional reports out of Washington. ICE expects to deport 400,000 illegal immigrants this year. That’s 10% more than in 2008 and nearly 25% more than in 2007. The number expected to be deported this year is the maximum the system can accommodate.
In addition, company audits designed to find companies that hire illegals have quadrupled since 2008. While audits have increased, the number of worksite raids is down due to a policy shift. Instead of worksite raids, more than $6.4 million in fines have been assessed against offending companies.
According to ICE direct John Morton current policy instructs officers to focus their “principal attention” on felons and repeat lawbreakers. The policy also targets repeat border crossers and directs that parents caring for children or the infirm should be detained/deported only in unusual cases. Morton said,
“We’re trying to put our money where our mouth is. You’ve got to have aggressive enforcement against criminal offenders. You have to have a secure border. You have to have some integrity in the system.”
But, don’t expect the facts to get in the way of the criticism. Confronted with the facts, critics will simply change their spin. Moving away from the “federal government isn’t doing its job” meme, the new spin is already beginning to emerge. New criticism will include that the administration is showing “apathy toward robust immigration enforcement.” Also coming down from the spinmeisters you can expect to hear more about the approach being “selective amnesty” because of the focus on criminal elements for deportation.
So, if you’re one of those still stuck on “the federal isn’t doing its job,” prepare to take up a new spin. If you’re interested in facts, you might want to check on the realities before believing any spin. The truth appears to be that, over the past four years, under two administrations, enforcement of America’s immigration laws has steadily and markedly improved.
More at WaPo.
Image above is titled “Diogenes Looking for an Honest Man.”
Cross posted at Elijah’s Sweete Spot.
Contributor, aka tidbits. Retired attorney in complex litigation, death penalty defense and constitutional law. Former Nat’l Board Chair: Alzheimer’s Association. Served on multiple political campaigns, including two for U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield (R-OR). Contributing author to three legal books and multiple legal publications.