The New York Times on Oct. 8th ran a story on deportation of illegal immigrants, providing a series of statistics that are both heartening and horrifying:
Immigration authorities deported a record 392,862 immigrants over the last year . . . about half of those deported, 195,372, were convicted criminals . . . The surge in deportation of criminals came in part as a result of a program called Secure Communities, officials say, which allows local enforcement officers to check the immigration status of every person, including American citizens booked into a county or local jail [to check fingerprints] . . . 20,000 immigrants in the county jail system…were eligible for deportation . . . about one-third who were deported had committed the most serious crimes, including murder, rape and major drug offenses, according to the Homeland Security figures. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [I.C.E.] also conducted more than 2,000 audits of hiring documents at businesses to check for unauthorized immigrant workers, the officials said, bringing criminal charges against 180 employers and levying more than $50 million in fines.
Finally, The Times reported, “Officials said that many of the nearly 200,000 immigrants deported who had committed no crimes were fugitives from immigration courts or had recently crossed the border illegally.”
For the Obama administration, this success is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it shows dramatically that when the executive branch wants to enforce the law, it can.
On the other hand, the information will adversely affect the administration’s goal of enacting, after the November elections and before the next and new session of Congress, comprehensive immigration reform legislation which includes providing amnesty and a path to citizenship to an estimated 11 to 20 million or more illegal aliens.
The public is opposed to these proposals, but there are Democrats and Republicans who continue to believe they can force the legislation upon the American public.
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