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John Batchelor


Rantz: On immigration, Trump more ‘progressive’ than Obama

(AP file photos)

I know Progressives are rather up in arms over President Donald Trump’s plans on illegal immigration, but it was their political savior in President Barack Obama who was the tough one.

New data by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) indicates, per analysis from Axios, that more illegal immigrants were deported under Obama than Trump in the first years of their administrations. More so, from any reasonable review of the data, Trump has been doing it the right way, deporting more illegal immigrants committing crimes beyond simply being here illegally.

Before Obama decided to turn a blind eye to illegal immigration, his record is rather telling. According to Axios:

  • Trump’s highest deportation month had only about half the number of deportations as Obama’s highest month.
  • In 2008, there were more than twice as many non-criminal deportations as criminal deportations. The ratio in
  • 2016 was 0.71 — the third-lowest ratio, following 2015 and 2013.

Sure, Trump’s rhetoric has been undeniably more harsh than Obama’s, but if Obama was the one deporting illegal immigrants with such gusto, isn’t he the one the activists should have been speaking so harshly against?

Yes, there were low level protests against Obama policies pre- and post-DACA but it didn’t pick the non-activist ire until Trump got involved. Which means, these protesters out there regularly shaming the President’s illegal immigration plan don’t know what the heck they’re talking about, fueled by their anti-Trump ideology than the actual facts of what’s going on.

Under Trump, illegal border crossing attempts are down by nearly 150,000 and this is before the great wall Mexico will pay for. While ICE arrests are up, deportations are down, suggesting ICE is doing their job in targeting offenders who likely shouldn’t be here. Under Obama, pre-DACA, the administration was deporting left and right.

Why is this important? It indicates a policy that seems rather fair.

Since DACA was passed, deportations dipped, and if Congress generally retains the DACA program (and I hope they do), there’s no reason to believe Trump’s policies will change the reality we’re seeing right now: ICE will continue their targeted deportations of criminals, not simply folks who came here illegally for a better life. That’s how it ought to be: people here illegally, taking advantage of our laws by acting out criminally, should be deported. Here making a life for yourself and family, enriching the communities you live, while helping spur economic growth by working here and spending money here? Without question, they should be given a fair path towards citizenship without the threat of deportation and I hope ICE keeps those people from being targeted.

But given the reality of the data in year one, perhaps the angry Progressive activists out there should at least give Trump the same level of deference to immigration policy they afforded Obama in the first term.


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