Obama's Record Deportations an Effort to Appease Republicans?
Immigrant rights activists are stepping up their campaign against the Obama administration following a New York Times report published Monday that revealed that the record number of people who have been deported since Obama took office have not been “criminals,” but mostly law-abiding immigrants. This reality, the article charges, is due to the White House’s desire to appear tough on immigration laws in an effort to appease Republican opponents.
As the New York Times highlights, contrary to the administration’s claims that its “Secure Communities” deportation program is focused on “criminals, gang bangers, people who are hurting the community,” a stunning two-thirds of the two million deportation cases since Obama took office have in reality involved people who were guilty of only “minor infractions, including traffic violations, or had no criminal record at all.”
The information, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, reveals that in an effort to get Republican lawmakers to play ball on immigration reform, the administration has tried to show it “can be trusted to enact wider immigration reform,” as the Guardian notes. This effort has failed in the sense that the GOP has only moved further to the right on immigration reform despite Obama’s advances, the New York Times reports.
“Interviews with current and former administration officials, as well as immigrant advocates, portray a president trying to keep his supporters in line even as he sought to show political opponents that he would be tough on people who had broken the law by entering the country illegally,” the New York Times reports.
“For years, the Obama administration’s spin has been that they are simply deporting so-called ‘criminal aliens,’ but the numbers speak for themselves,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “In truth, this administration — more than any other — has devastated immigrant communities across the country, tearing families away from loved ones, simply because they drove without a license, or re-entered the country desperately trying to be reunited with their family members.”
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