The Texas Trib has a report on President Obama’s noted increases in deportations. Going off of a Syracuse University report on immigration and deportation, various facts are noted which President Obama can boast about to appease the right.
Of the 279,035 removed, 136,714, or about half, were convicted criminal aliens. The figure represents a 60-percent increase from the same time frame in 2008 and a 58-percent jump from the Obama Administration’s first year.
Bravo, President Obama. You’re showing us what 287(g) and Secure Communities can do regarding deportations.
But, if you recall a debate in which I participated which included Harris County Sheriff’s staffer Bernstein, my questions regarding the effectiveness of these programs was regarding the target of detention as ordered by ICE–Level 1 Criminal Aliens. While Bernstein could not provide any real numbers by level of crime, they did push that 20,000 number of those detainees given to ICE.
The Syracuse reports gives us some facts that the Trib failed to report. We even get a few facts as to how specific crimes are classified (traffic violations are LEVEL 2).
Of the 136,000 or so labeled “criminal,” only 46,000 or so are classified Level 1, which means 66% of “criminal” removals were Levels 2 and 3. Given that we don’t know specifics on the crimes committed, and the fact that traffic violations are considered Level 2, I would venture to say that a majority of the 2s and 3s weren’t even deported on “deportable offenses.” Unfortunately, it is even possible to make a misdemeanor an “aggravated felony,” nowadays, so the bottom line is that ICE is doing this despite all of the flaws in the system.
In other words, the vast majority of “criminal” aliens deported may not have even been eligible for deportation if they had been able to come into the United States in the back of the line that doesn’t even move.
And that leaves out the 142,000 non-criminal aliens deported (and separated from families and decimating local economies). All of this without even an attempt from Congress and President Obama to push through Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
THE FINE LINE
President Obama has a fine line to walk. On the one hand, he has failed to keep a promise he made to Latino voters, but he is playing defense against the far-right. Who to appease?
Well, had he pushed through Comprehensive Immigration Reform in his first year in office…well, you know where I’m going with this.