During Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama touted his administration’s efforts on reducing illegal immigration.
“Real reform means stronger border security, and we can build on the progress my administration has already made – putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.”
Pew estimates that net migration – newly arrived immigrants minus those leaving (forced or voluntarily) – has come to a standstill, which it attributes to the weakened U.S. job and construction markets, border enforcement, an increase in deportations, and increased dangers associated with crossing the border.
We believe that although we have no problem with Pew’s estimates with net migration, we do have difficulties with the assumption of increased deportations. Furthermore, we are unaware of “increased dangers associated with crossing the border,” unless of course, they are referring to the Mexican cartels who are literally at war with each other.
This may be in part because of the president’s new drone policy or of the disastrous effects from Operation Fast & Furious. We do not blame Pew’s research whatsoever; however, we still have a problem with the POTUS telling the unmitigated truth.
The Obama administration boasts that arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border have dropped on its watch. But figures cited by the administration are based on “biased statistics,” according to the president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing more than 17,000 U.S. border agents and personnel.
“Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has traveled around the country saying that the border is more secure than it has ever been,” union leader George McCubbin said at a July 26 press briefing hosted by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL). “We do not believe that to be the case. … She relied on the information and statistics provided to her by those with an interest in having them reflect whatever position the administration wants them to reflect.”
Indeed, late last year Heritage’s Jessica Zuckerman described how the Obama administration inflated its deportation numbers by including “voluntary removals” in the deportation statistics. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton boasted of the removal of 396,906 illegal aliens in fiscal 2011 – the largest number of illegal aliens in the agency’s history. Yet as Zuckerman explains, this number includes individuals who agree to be returned to their home countries counted in the same way as those who are ordered to be deported by the courts.
As House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) explained, “A single illegal immigrant can show up at the border and be voluntarily returned numerous times in one year – and be counted each time as a removal.” Ultimately, this practice serves to artificially inflating the administration’s deportation numbers.
In response, the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council took the highly unusual step of issuing a unanimous “vote of no confidence” against ICE director Morton. Sessions further elaborated by saying that there is a need for renewed reference of the rule of law.
It’s time that “the lawlessness must end,” Sessions explained. “All Americans, immigrant and native born, will have a better future if our nation remains unique in the world for its special reverence for the rule of law and fairness in our immigration system.”
Required Reading: If you aren’t nervous, you should be.
If you aren’t nervous, you should be. The President is, once again, talking about a “balanced approach” to fixing sequestration—the across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to hit America. Translation: your pocketbook is threatened.
The last time the President negotiated a “balanced” package was January’s fiscal cliff deal. He said that only “the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans” would pay higher taxes. Yet, mid-January, with the arrival of the first paychecks of the year, we learned what “wealthy” really means: everyone. The payroll tax increase hit every worker, and the average American earning $41,000 received $32 less in his biweekly paycheck, which will add up to almost $1,000 a year.
The fiscal cliff deal showed that President Obama’s idea of “balance” is tax increases ($618 billion plus the increase in the payroll tax) and NO spending cuts. In fact, the fiscal cliff deal had a net increase in spending.
Now the President is talking “balance” again. He wants tax increases (only on “the rich,” of course) to replace spending cuts in sequestration.
Watch out, America! We have seen that “deal” before.