Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Latinos, Obama, and 396,906

Ah, Mr. President, do us proud.  Figures released and reported by administration officials show that the government has deported a grand total of 396,906 "foreigners" over the last year.  Unsurprisingly, these are record levels.  The officials defend this deportation strategy by focusing on the deportees.  As reported by the N.Y. Times:
The officials said that 55 percent of the immigrants deported were criminal convicts, including 51,620 people convicted of felonies like homicide, drug trafficking and sexual offenses. The results were an 89 percent increase in deportations of criminals since the beginning of the Obama administration, the officials said. Of the remaining illegal immigrants deported, the great majority were arrested soon after they crossed the border illegally or had returned illegally after being deported, officials said.
 How is that for law and order?  Is this what passes for immigration reform in our present political climate?

Worse yet, according to a report by the Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at Berkeley: the strategy has had a disproportionate impact on the Latino community.  Under the administration program, known as "Secure Communities," 93% of those immigrants arrested were Latino, even though Latinos as a whole only form two-thirds of those who immigrate into the United States illegally.  Also, about a third of the 226,000 immigrants deported under the program have spouses and/or children with American citizenship.  The researchers also found cases where immigration agents held U.S. citizens, even though immigration officials do not have authority to prosecute or deport American citizens.

This is change, all right.  Whether we can believe in it or not is a much different question.

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