For much of this year, the Obama administration touted its tougher-than-ever approach to immigration enforcement, culminating in a record number of deportations.
But in reaching 392,862 deportations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement included more than 19,000 immigrants who had exited the previous fiscal year, according to agency statistics. ICE also ran a Mexican repatriation program five weeks longer than ever before, allowing the agency to count at least 6,500 exits that, without the program, would normally have been tallied by the U.S. Border Patrol.
When ICE officials realized in the final weeks of the fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, that the agency still was in jeopardy of falling short of last year's mark, it scrambled to reach the goal. Officials quietly directed immigration officers to bypass backlogged immigration courts and time-consuming deportation hearings whenever possible, internal e-mails and interviews show...
They did that for the same reasons that George W Bush conducted high-profile immigration raids: to make comprehensive immigration reform or lesser amnesties such as the DREAM Act more likely. Obviously their efforts failed, and the question now becomes whether they're going to cut back on deportations and try to ramp up what amounts to de facto amnesty.
Tue, 12/21/2010 - 12:35 · Importance: 4