It was another record breaking year for deportations, with DHS logging 396,906 removals during Fiscal Year 2011. While the raw number is not in doubt, its meaning is far from clear, according to the American Immigration Council.
Here is the full Report from AIC: AIC
The article notes: According to DHS, 55% of those removed (approximately 218,000) were “criminal aliens,” but the definition of “criminal” is overly broad. While DHS may tout this numbers as proof that it’s rooting out serious criminals only, it’s important to note that many of these “criminal” aliens have only minor convictions such as traffic offenses or entering the U.S. without a visa.
State initiatives such as those in Alabama and Arizona as well as the federal Secure Communities funnel immigrants into the clutches of ICE, regardless of criminal violations.
The central point of the article is the following: “The real dilemma for DHS however, is how it plans to reconcile its criminal deportation statistics with its new initiatives on prosecutorial discretion. Rather than trumpet its record breaking number, DHS should attempt to explain just how it hopes to further refine its methods for catching those who truly pose a threat to our country and for exercising discretion towards those who do not.”
One wonders how much “Political Spin” is involved in these removal numbers. I had discussed border security in an earlier blog on Michele Bachmann. In the blog, I quoted from an interesting article by Truthout. The article states: “Despite the border security buildups and $100 billion spent along the southwestern border, no terrorists or terrorist weapons have been seized.” Truthout. The Administration is certainly sending out a message that it is tough on enforcement. We are safer with these strong enforcement measures, but we are not as safe as the Administration is leading us to believe. My impression is that the Administration is sending out this messge that it is very tough on enforcement and Congress is the one who has failed to pass comprehensive immigration. I am not comfortable with that message. The White House could show much more leadership with regard to immigration. As AIC mentions, ICE could explain its statistics better. The White House could also could take some small steps to show the pro-immigration community it is serious about immigration. How about expanding the Parole in Place program? It could do that without congressional approval. How about campaining for a small bill such as the Start Up Visa Act? That act would benefit our economy and create jobs.