Neil Munro, Daily Caller, December 31, 2013
Fewer than 0.2 percent of the 11.7 million illegal aliens in the United States were deported in 2012 for violating immigration laws, according to data released by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
“It is a drop in the bucket,” Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Caller. “Relative to the [agency] resources and tools they have been given to do this job, it is a record low,” said Vaughan.
Government officials say they deported a total of 368,644 people. But almost two-thirds of those people, or 235,093, were caught at the border and promptly returned to their home countries.
Only 133,551 resident illegals were picked up in the interior of the country and deported, the ICE report admitted.
But 82 percent of those residents were deported for other offenses, ICE acknowledged. Those offenses include drunk driving, assault, robbery and drug possession.
The remaining 18 percent adds up to only 20,000 illegals of the 11.7 million illegals believed to be living in the United States.
That’s only one immigration-law deportation for every 585 illegals.
The agency said officials want to focus federal police on illegals who also commit additional crimes. “Other than convicted criminals, the agency’s enforcement priorities include: those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants–individuals who returned to the U.S. after being previously removed by ICE–and immigration fugitives,” said the ICE report.
“Immigration laws should be enforced for their own sake, not just as a way to remove criminals,” Vaughan said.
“The main purpose of the immigration of the law is to preserve economic opportunity for Americans and the legal immigrants we choose to accept,” Vaughan said.
Since 2009, Obama’s deputies have blocked or deported 3.2 million border crossers and immigrants, according to a study of federal data by Vaughan.
That’s a less effective defense of the nation’s borders than every president since President Jimmy Carter, whose deputies blocked or deported 3.2 million illegals from 1977 to 1980. Even President Gerald Ford blocked and deported illegals at a faster rate–804,081 per year, compared to Obama’s rate of 800,863 per year, according to Vaughan.
President George W. Bush blocked or deported 10.3 million illegals in eight years, while President Bill Clinton blocked or deported 12.3 million.
Obama’s record low deportation rate, however, is being obscured by false claims from advocates of greater immigration. They argue that that President Barack Obama has spiked deportations to record highs.
Those statistical and political claims are being repeated by many media outlets, such as the Washington Post, which reported Sunday that “more than 1 million illegal immigrants were deported in the past three years, a record number.”
“Since taking office, President Obama has deported more than 1.9 million foreigners, immigration officials announced last week, a record for an American president,” according to a report by New York Times reporter Julia Preston, who says advocates for an amnesty are “civil rights” protestors.
Preston’s editors later added a major correction to her article, which originally claimed Obama had caused a “surge” in deportations. “Overall deportations decreased by 10 percent in fiscal 2013 from the previous year. There has not been a ‘surge,’” said the correction.
One reason for the flawed claims about Obama’s record, said Vaughan, is that Obama administration’s data has conflated two formerly separate categories of deportations.
Prior administrations labelled the arrest and deportation of border-crossers as “removals,” and reserved the use of the “deportation” term for the expulsion of illegal immigrants living far from the border. Under President George W. Bush, removals spiked, but deportations fell sharply, partly because his deputies almost stopped investigations against companies suspected of hiring illegals instead of Americans.
But Obama’s officials have artificially boosted the claimed number of deportations by reclassifying the quick removal of many border crossers as deportations, said Vaughan. That reclassification bumps his total of “deportation” actions up to 1.9 million, and allows his allies to use friendly reporters to declare that he is deporting more people than Bush.
Obama has also awarded temporary resident and work permits to 567,563 illegals by September, according to an administration report about the June 2012 “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” mini-amnesty. The number of temporary residencies is more than four times the number of 2013 deportations.
Only 21,162 DACA applications for residency were rejected by September, said the report.