Photo: AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, POOL
Obama has deported 1.06 million illegal immigrants through two-and-a-half years in office, Reuters reports. This puts him on pace for more deportations in his first term than George W. Bush’s 1.57 million in eight years.However, while 41% of those deported by Bush had criminal records, the proportion has risen slightly to 46% under Obama.
This comes quickly on the heels of news that the administration would attempt to clear lower-priority immigration cases from the Department of Homeland Security’s 300,000-deep backlog.
Regarding Obama’s approach, Adam Serwer at Mother Jones writes:
Theoretically Obama’s strict enforcement policies were supposed to lay the groundwork for comprehensive immigration reform. But being a bigger enforcement hawk than Bush not only didn’t bring any Republicans to the table; it also hasn’t torn them from the alternate universe in which Obama is mailing green cards to every unauthorised immigrant in the country.
Even with these high deportation numbers, the Tea Party and conservatives have railed against the president’s immigration policies. Their prioritization of a firm stance on illegals is also boxing in Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign due to assocations between his position and Obama’s.
Though not nearly the DREAM Act that liberals were hoping for, the administration’s new initiative is similarly designed to focus on immigrants with criminal records rather than those who came to the U.S. early in life and remained here.
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