Friday, May 21, 2010
From America's Voice:
Washington, DC – Yesterday’s heartbreaking conversation between a second-grade student and First Lady Michelle Obama highlighted the fear and deportation rampant under the broken immigration system. The conversation also drew attention to an underreported fact – that the Obama administration is deporting more immigrants than the Bush administration.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “As the chart here shows, the Obama administration is on track to deport a record 400,000 people in 2010, 70% of whom are non-criminal undocumented immigrants who have been caught up in an aggressive dragnet of local, state and federal raids and enforcement actions. As shocking as these numbers are, they are proof that Republican calls for increased immigration enforcement as a pretext to comprehensive immigration reform are just hollow political pot shots.”
Deportations more than doubled in the Bush years and are increasing even more in the Obama administration. And even among those considered “criminal” deportees, immigrants could be classified as such for infractions as minor as selling an unauthorized phone cards. In conjunction with the fact that border security spending and personnel have also increased in recent years, the deportation numbers show that ramped-up, enforcement-only immigration policy already is the status quo. As a result, Republican calls for increased immigration enforcement as a necessity before moving forward on comprehensive immigration reform do not ring true in light of these numbers and this reality.
Said Sharry, “Every day, bad actor employers exploit immigrant workers, undercut American workers and undermine honest competitors. Every day, Americans become more frustrated and more polarized as Washington dithers. Unfortunately, the vacuum created by the lack of action on comprehensive immigration reform has been filled by ramped up federal enforcement and discriminatory laws like Arizona’s. It’s time to deliver on the change that Obama promised on immigration, such as when he spoke eloquently to the National Council of La Raza and said, “The system isn't working when 12 million people live in hiding, and hundreds of thousands cross our borders illegally each year; when companies hire undocumented immigrants instead of legal citizens to avoid paying overtime or to avoid a union; when communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids - when nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing, when people are detained without access to legal counsel.”