• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Immigration Enforcement up under Obama

One of the ironies concerning the immigration policy debate at the moment is that despite the rhetoric alleging the Obama administration’s abdication of responsibility regarding the border, the fact of the matter is that enforcement is up.  Indeed, the politics of the situation have been pushing the federal government towards increased enforcement in the hopes that it would allow a real debate about immigration reform.  Indeed, it is not incorrect to state that the Obama administration has been a bit more to the right on this topic than was the Bush administration.

Via WaPoDeportation of illegal immigrants increases under Obama administration

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007. The pace of company audits has roughly quadrupled since President George W. Bush’s final year in office.

Such facts are not enough, however, to deter Tom Tancredo (The case for impeachment) from making claims like the following:

Mr. Obama’s most egregious and brazen betrayal of our Constitution was his statement to Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, that the administration will not enforce security on our southern border because that would remove Republicans’ desire to negotiate a “comprehensive” immigration bill.

In regards to the Kyl claim, see Doug Mataconis’ post on this subject from last month:  Jon Kyl Walks Back Claim That Obama Is Holding Border Security “Hostage”

People like Tancredo have been arguing that we need enforcement first before any talk of reform can even start.  So, the administration is trying, and the response (at least from Tancredo) is the charge that the administration is not enforcing border security at all.

It sure would be nice if we could deal in facts and not fantasy on this complex and important topic.

h/t:  Michele Waslin and Greg Weeks

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    I pointed to that WaPo article in a previous thread. However, I made a mistake in reading the accompanying graph. I claimed that Obama would be deporting twice as many illegal immigrants in 2010 as in 2008 (based on how many we had deported by June 7th). That is not accurate – we would be deporting twice as many *criminal* illegal immigrants.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Steve Plunk says:

    It’s a question of effective border security and the people of Arizona seem to think it’s been lacking. Just spending more money doesn’t make it better and deportations need to be context of how many are coming across and how many are caught. Good security would thwart crossings and lower the number of deportations.

    Why would this administration not only turn down help from state authorities but sue to stop it if serious about border security? They seem to have other priorities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Herb says:

    “It’s a question of effective border security and the people of Arizona seem to think it’s been lacking.”

    For the umpteenth time…..immigration enforcement is not done at the border. It’s done in a courtroom, after a prosecutor makes a case and a deportation order is signed.

    What part of this do you not understand?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Franklin says:

    Herb – I’m not sure if you read Plunk’s whole post. He appears to be making the point that more border security would help reduce the need for “immigration enforcement” and deportations.

    Plunk – They’re suing because it’s against the Constitution. There are more border guards than ever, although one could certainly argue for even more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Steve Plunk says:

    Herb, So law enforcement is done in courtrooms rather than by police on the streets?

    Franklin, I thought the Arizona statute is essentially the same as the federal statutes except it empowers and directs state and local officials. Didn’t the Obama administration argue it usurped the federal authority?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Herb says:

    “He appears to be making the point that more border security would help reduce the need for “immigration enforcement” and deportations.”

    Yes….appears. It also appears that the only illegal immigrants Plunk is concerned about are those that cross the border illegally. The border patrol is not in the business of determining one’s long-term intentions.

    I suspect if we get more “border security,” there will be very little effect on illegal immigration. There may, however, be an increase in identity fraud and forgery and such…

    My point, in a nutshell, more “border security” is not the solution. It’s part of it, but it’s no magic bullet.

    “Herb, So law enforcement is done in courtrooms rather than by police on the streets?”

    Short answer: yes. Think about it, Steve. Do we need a refresher course on the legal system or what?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. grampagravy says:

    All of this expensive border security/fence building/troop deployment could be avoided through a sensible guest worker program to meet seasonal labor requirements, and strict enforcement against the hiring of illegals for permanent positions. Deep (but not too deep down) down this isn’t a fight between Mexicans and Americans this is a fight over the value of labor in the U.S. I still think SB1070 is a political stink bomb tossed out in an election year by AZ Republicans. I also think Judge Bolton did a great job of deodorizing it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. floyd says:

    grampagravy;
    What percentage of illegal aliens do you think work “seasonal labor”?
    I travel pretty extensively and rarely find a restaurant from New York to Oregon, to Louisianna to Minnesota , which hires less than a majority of what appears to be Mexican labor.
    The meat packing industry is hardly seasonal. Would you count construction jobs?
    Around here it is nearly impossible to get drywall, residential electrical, roofing or flooring done by English speaking workers. Landscaping may be seasonal but the workers are not.
    Contract maintenance on refineries is now changing in that direction as well.
    “Seasonal work” where I live is a cruel joke played on tax payers , since illegal workers are encouraged to come come here for the perks and the immunities.
    Like ignoring everything from residential occupancy laws , to emmigration status. Giving free medical benefits and welfare payments with preference to the children of illegals and instate rates for college.

    All of this apparently for one purpose…. to line the pockets of abusive employers who refuse to pay a living wage. Maybe if they would just keep it down to one Escalade in the garage or keep them for a couple of years and cut their next house down to 5000 square feet or so….

    These crooked employers not only CHEAT the taxpayers out of billions in expenses and revenue each year, but they regularly violate wage , health, and safety laws intended to protect the very labor they abuse daily.
    These are the true criminals here,the employers who have dedicated there lives to the destruction of our standard of living and the reestablishment of their own plantation system.
    These “neo-Massas” should be the object of our ire rather than being coddled , admired, and supported by the system.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. tom p says:

    ***All of this apparently for one purpose…. to line the pockets of abusive employers who refuse to pay a living wage. Maybe if they would just keep it down to one Escalade in the garage or keep them for a couple of years and cut their next house down to 5000 square feet or so….

    These crooked employers not only CHEAT the taxpayers out of billions in expenses and revenue each year, but they regularly violate wage , health, and safety laws intended to protect the very labor they abuse daily.
    These are the true criminals here,the employers who have dedicated there lives to the destruction of our standard of living and the reestablishment of their own plantation system.
    These “neo-Massas” should be the object of our ire rather than being coddled , admired, and supported by the system.***

    Mark it on the calender Floyd. You not only said something I totally agree with, but said it better than I have been saying it for years.

    From an NPR story on illegals: “If I couldn’t hire illegal aliens, I couldn’t be in business.”

    Me screaming at the radio, “GET A F’N JOB YOU LAZY PR***!!!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. grampagravy says:

    @floyd
    The only reasonable excuse for bringing in alien labor is seasonal agricultural work.
    “…strict enforcement against the hiring of illegals for permanent positions” pretty much covers all those other categories you enumerated and all the others as well. So, what’s your point? All I did was say what you said in one hell of a lot fewer words.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. anjin-san says:

    Lots of Americans want to do drugs and will pay dearly for them.

    Lots of American employers want cheap labor and will pay little for it.

    The problem is not Mexicans. It never has been.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. anjin-san says:

    Ok Steve, here is a question for you. Can you name one US President who has “secured the border”?

    Or are you just a Palin Parrot?

    They seem to have other priorities.

    Dealing with the multiple disasters Bush left behind is a lot of work…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. floyd says:

    grampagravy;
    It was not my intention to take issue with the intent of your post.
    The point is that a guest worker position is archaic at best and such a small percentage of the problem as to have little impact.
    If we allowed a guest worker program, we would still be faced with effectively an unmitigated problem…. the necessity of border security/fence building/troop deployment , along with the impossible dream of enforcement against employers.

    While brevity is is undoubtedly a virtue, some issues demand to be fleshed out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. floyd says:

    anjin-san;
                   Polk?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Steve Plunk says:

    anjin,
     
    It’s a lazy argument to continually fall back in “Palin parrot” or that I’m regurgitating Fox News points.  It’s also tiresome to keep blaming Bush.  If they are so busy why take Arizona to court over this?
     
    Border security has become a bigger issue in the last decades and the people of America are demanding something be done.  Now I’m not sure what the cure is but I don’t see Arizona’s law as an instant fix or the disaster some say it is.  Like with most problems we face the remedy is not one piece of legislation but many small pieces out together over time and judged for their effectiveness.
     
    I have a great deal of sympathy for a Mexican father looking to work and support his family or a restaurant owner trying to stay in business by hiring cheap labor but there are other problems associated with illegal immigration that forces us to address the problem.
     
    Those are my thoughts.  Not Palin’s, not Bush’s, not Fox News.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Herb says:

    “It’s a lazy argument to continually fall back in “Palin parrot” or that I’m regurgitating Fox News points.”

    Steve, if we saw any deviance –any at all- from the Fox News/Palin line of thinking, then you can complain about the laziness of this argument. But since your positions are identical to those of a Fox News hack, how are we supposed to know you came to them independently? If it quacks like a duck……

    “Border security has become a bigger issue in the last decades and the people of America are demanding something be done. ”

    Border security has only become a bigger issue to the extent that politicians recognize that it’s an easy way to get uninformed people to vote for them. (Ie. pandering) The border’s more secure now than it was 10 years ago. Dispute it if you want, but it’s true.

    I’m also dubious of “the people of America” argument. Yes, I recognize that right-wingers are demanding something be done, but do not confuse America’s right-wingers for the “people of America.”

    With that said, you’re spot on with this:

    “Like with most problems we face the remedy is not one piece of legislation but many small pieces out together over time and judged for their effectiveness.”

    Now….as regards to the Arizona law, do you think this legislation should come from the state level? Or the federal level?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. floyd says:

    Herb;
     Have you seen any deviance –any at all- from the CNN,Kieth Olberman line of thinking? That’s the source of the lazy thinking, and of the Fox News/Palin argument.
     You’re Quacking out of the left side of your beak…. Waddle on …We’ll “put it on your bill”[LOL]

     BTW; Those who deny America’s right to borders,deny it’s status as a country, and therefore make dubious claim the claim of being the“people of America.” .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. floyd says:

     Herb;
       Where should enforcement come from?
     This is not a Palin/ Olbermann argument. The cowards and fools at the federal level have wimped out on this issue for decades. Arizona is acting in desperation against a foreign enemy[The government of Mexico, for those who would to make an Olbermann style retort] and the “Feds” are refusing to perform as required.
     Just to inform you… it is possible to be informed , and not share your conclusions.
     It’s also difficult to be informed now-a-days, so we are likely both being hoodwinked…
    just enough.[lol] 

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Herb says:

    Floyd,

    I’d respond, but what’s the point? You have demonstrated no understanding of this issue at all.

    “CNN,Kieth Olberman line of thinking?”

    Not only does Olbermann work for MSNBC, but what does this have to do with anything? Save the “I know you are but what am I?” for Pee Wee Herman.

    “Those who deny America’s right to borders,deny it’s status as a country, and therefore make dubious claim the claim of being the“people of America.” .”

    Who is denying America’s right to borders or status as a country? Beat that straw man all you want….and you’ll win! You’ll be the best strawman beater ever.

    I do love this though:

    “The cowards and fools at the federal level have wimped out on this issue for decades.”

    Yes, for decades…especially with the creation of ICE, which that coward George W. Bush created to replace INS and just to make sure he was being wimpy, he put ICE under Homeland Security. Seriously?

    “Arizona is acting in desperation against a foreign enemy.”

    Not their job. Oh, and PS. Mexico is not a foreign enemy.

    “it is possible to be informed , and not share your conclusions.”

    Yes, I agree, but you are not a very good example of this….sorry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. floyd says:

    Herb;
       Nice rant!  
     Mostly confused and irelevant…but nice!
     I would respond further , but as you say… what’s the point?
      

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. anjin-san says:

    Steve – can you refute any of my earlier argument?
     

    Lots of Americans want to do drugs and will pay dearly for them.
    Lots of American employers want cheap labor and will pay little for it.
    The problem is not Mexicans. It never has been.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Max Lybbert says:

    The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007.

    While this is interesting information, there are a few questions left unanswered.  In the current economic environment, is it possible that illegal immigration has increased since 2008?  By how much?
    What I find most interesting about Judge Bolton’s ruling is ( http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/20100729_ARIZONA_DOC.pdf ) that the only reason it is unconstitutional for Arizona to refer everybody arrested who cannot prove their lawful residence to the Department of Homeland Security is that there is a law that requires the DHS to investigate all such referrals (page 17, “Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1373(c), DHS is required to ‘respond to an inquiry by a Federal, State, or local government agency, seeking to verify or ascertain the citizenship or immigration status . . . for any purpose authorized by law, by providing the requested verification or status information.'”).  Since DHS has no ability to prioritize which referrals to take seriously, this preempts DHS’s authority in this area (page 17, “Thus, an increase in the number of requests for determinations of immigration status, such as is likely to result from the mandatory requirement that Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies check the immigration status of any person who is arrested, will divert resources from the federal government’s other responsibilities and priorities.”).
    I find it weird that because there is a requirement to follow up on all referrals, a law requiring police officers to make those referrals is itself Unconstitutional.  It may well be the law (page 16 points to two previous cases that say so), but it’s still weird.
    Besides, the fact that Congress imposed this burden on DHS (to follow up on all referrals) is a spending priority.  I can’t see why the DHS’s own spending priorities should overrule Congress’s, especially when Congress has the power of the purse for exactly this reason.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. @Max: it is clearly a complex, and oft confusing, situation.  However, my basic point is that a lot of people (Brewer, Kyl, Tancredo, etc.) are making the claim that the Obama administration is abdicating its responsibilities and is refusing to enforce the law.  This is empirically not the case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0