Obama cooks the books on deportations

Written by . Posted in Issue Watch, Uncategorized

Published on May 06, 2013

barlettaThe following is a guest post from U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa.

When it comes to the issue of illegal immigration, we have consistently heard from the Obama Administration and its allies that the number of deportations is at an all-time high. As Congress continues debates what to do about the growing problem of illegal immigration, it is important that we take a look inside the numbers of which the administration is so proud, because a closer examination tells a different tale.

Because of a court action brought by ICE agents who claim they are being prevented from doing their jobs, the Homeland Security Department has had to turn over data related to deportations.  By a broad definition the numbers are up. But that conclusion relies on a different method of counting. In fact, deportation of known illegal aliens already inside the country has fallen by 25 percent – an alarming drop in enforcement.

The administration is apparently padding their statistics by counting those illegal aliens who are prevented from successfully crossing the border in the first place. This is a new metric being used for the first time, and it does not accurately reflect the way the interior of our country is being protected.

Immigration proposals floating around Washington currently contain various forms of amnesty.  If ICE agents are being prevented from enforcing our existing laws, it follows that a de facto amnesty is already in place. This ought to be of grave concern to law-abiding Americans everywhere.

The problems of illegal immigration are many. The mere discussion of amnesty has caused an uptick in the number of attempted illegal entries, and the attraction and legalization of those who have broken our laws provides a great disservice to legal immigrants who are already in competition for scarce jobs and services. It also does nothing to address what I believe is the overlooked issue of visa overstays. Nearly half of the people who are here illegally did not cross a border, but instead arrived, never went home and simply disappeared into the fabric of the nation.

The Heritage Foundation estimates that social program benefits for these new residents will total $2.6 trillion over twenty years even after taxes are paid – a fiscal disaster. Add in the fact that illegal immigration is a known national security threat, and it is painfully obvious that we have a serious situation on our hands.

We accomplish nothing by turning our backs on the problem and cooking the books this way – rather, we only add to a gathering storm.