Was Barack Obama Ever Really Going to Enforce Immigration Laws?

The promise to enforce immigration laws was key to the campaign for “comprehensive immigration reform.” But it was a lie.

As you may have heard, deportations are way down. Not only are general deportations not happening, but even criminals are getting to stay in the country rather than face deportation.

Mark Krikorian writes at the National Review,

The operational reason for the collapse in deportations is the Obama administration’s enforcement-suppression policies, which it has labeled “prosecutorial discretion.” The White House has claimed that, given limited resources, it’s focusing only on the worst of the worst among criminal aliens. But then why have even criminal deportations been declining? They can’t blame this on sanctuary cities, because as bad as they are, the number of criminals they’re shielding from deportation isn’t big enough to account for such a steep decline in numbers.

The AP reporter was engaging in gratuitous spin on behalf of the administration when she wrote, in her own voice, that: “The decline suggests the administration has been failing to find criminal immigrants in the U.S. interior, or that fewer immigrants living in the U.S. illegally had criminal records serious enough to justify deporting them.” As they say on Twitter, HAHAHAHAHAHA! The administration hasn’t been “failing to find criminal immigrants,” nor have non-citizens suddenly become more law-abiding. Instead, the White House has essentially prohibited immigration agents from doing their jobs, which is a big part of why DHS employee morale is so low.

The administration’s own spin is that more of the illegals arrested at the border are non-Mexican, and it takes longer to deport them. Except that it’s letting them all go and deporting almost none of them.

In short, the drop in deportations is a policy choice made by the White House, not some development out of its control.

 [See also, “What Happens When Barack Obama Usurps Immigration Decisions? Criminals Get Inflicted on Americans.”]

All this leads to a new perspective on the earlier years of the Obama presidency. Krikorian reminds us that the premise of the “comprehensive immigration reform” pushed by Marco Rubio and others depended on a promise that, once we granted citizenship and residency to immigrants who were here illegally, that Obama could be trusted to enforce immigration laws and keep the rest of the wannabe illegal immigrants out of the country (even though they would now be much more motivated to sneak into the country because they would know that eventually they would be rewarded).

But now that Obama can’t get his immigration reform, he has dropped the ruse. He isn’t enforcing the immigration laws. He never intended to enforce the immigration laws.