Administration Admits Truth about ‘Record Deportations’

John Vinson's picture

By John Vinson

John is a Senior Writing Fellow with CAPS. A long-time advocate of conservation and responsible use of natural resources, John is president of the American Immigration Control Foundation.

The writer's views are his own. 

March 27, 2014

The Obama Administration has finally admitted the truth: it has not conducted “record deportations” of illegal aliens. The admission came from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, following the revelations of critics who debunked the alleged record. The administration advanced this claim, evidently, to make its support for amnesty more palatable to Americans who doubt its promises to enforce immigration law after passage of amnesty.

The deception is in the definition. Most people define “deportation” as removal of an illegal alien from our country’s interior and sending him back home. That in fact was how the government defined it before Obama. After he became president, Homeland Security expanded the definition to include illegal aliens caught at the border and then quickly sent back home. Such “deportations” do nothing to reduce the resident illegal alien population of nearly 12 million.

As The Washington Times reported on March 14, “[Johnson] acknowledged . . . that his department’s deportation numbers are now mostly made up of illegal immigrants caught at the border, not just those from the interior, which means they can’t be compared one-to-one with deportations under President Bush or other prior administrations.

Interestingly, the “record deportations” claim has prompted a great outcry among advocates of illegal aliens. On one occasion, Obama tried to reassure some of them of his real intentions and even admitted that the claim was “a little deceptive.” Apparently that made little impression. In protest, they recently labeled Obama the “deporter-in-chief.”

As these advocates have grown increasingly shrill, they have demanded that deportations – which have diminished under Obama – be halted almost completely. Recently Obama met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who are making this demand, and promised that he would review policies related to deportation.

Previously, he said that there was nothing he could do about it, and that change was up to Congress. Said Hispanic Caucus member Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), “It’s clear the pleas . . . got through to the president.”

In the words of Yogi Berra, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” In 2011, Obama stated that he had no authority to give legal status to illegal aliens in the Dream Act category, that such a decision properly belonged to Congress. But just a year later, he simply proclaimed it.

Playing on the possibility of another edict to benefit illegal aliens, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) arrogantly issued the following challenge: “Republicans have only two choices to make. They can either help pass comprehensive reform [i.e., amnesty], or they can sit idly by and watch the president greatly curtail deportations.”

As amnesty advocates apply this pressure, no doubt they will continue citing the “record deportations” that supposedly justify few deportations, even though that record never existed in the first place. And they may get away with it, notwithstanding the belated admission of truth by the administration. As a certain German leader once observed, if you tell a Big Lie often enough, most people – all evidence to the contrary – will believe it.

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