The Los Angeles Times ran one of the most important non-news stories of the year in the April 2 edition. “Higher deportation figures are misleading,” read the headline.

That may be news to readers of the L.A. Times and other consumers of mainstream media, where every report about immigration includes the obligatory mention that President Obama has been deporting people at a record clip and that his administration is approaching the 2 million mark for its five and half years in office.

But what may be news to the L.A. Times isn’t exactly news. President Obama spilled the beans on the deception almost three years ago. Speaking to a group of Hispanic journalists in 2011, the president told them, “The statistics are actually a little deceptive… we’ve been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours.” Mr. Obama’s remarks were reported by major news outlets back then, but apparently few reporters have taken the trouble to run a simple Google search before repeating the president is the “deporter-in-chief” canard.

They don’t even have to dig all the way back to 2011 to confirm that the deportation claims are being hyped. Just last month, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson admitted that the statistics don’t tell the real story in testimony on Capitol Hill. Asked by Rep. John Culberson to confirm whether it is true that, “Under the Obama administration, more than half of those removals that were attributed to ICE are actually a result of Border Patrol arrests that wouldn’t have been counted in prior administrations,” Johnson’s response was, “Correct.”

What has been going on here is some carefully orchestrated winking and nodding between the White House and the illegal alien advocacy groups, with the non-questioning media playing a supporting role.

In order for the Obama administration, and many in Congress, to justify the massive amnesty and immigration increases they are pushing, they recognize that they have to convince the American public that they’ve got illegal immigration under control. There are two ways of achieving that end: They can actually enforce the laws and secure our borders (which they don’t want to do), or they can just tell us over and over again that they’re enforcing the law, and that illegal immigration has virtually ceased under their watch – which is what they have been doing.

So here’s how it’s playing out: The amnesty advocates yell and scream, hold demonstrations and hunger strikes, and charge the president with ruthlessly breaking up families and other dastardly deeds. The president then turns around and points to this street theater as evidence that he is enforcing the heck out of the law, and that it is either time for Congress to pass amnesty, or for him to declare a de facto moratorium on deportations in the name of being more humane (which is already in the works).

To add credibility to the whole charade, the media, which are largely supportive of the amnesty effort, have been lazy (at best), or willing accomplices (at worst) to the deception. The news in the L.A. Times isn’t so much that the deportation statistics are misleading, but rather that a major news organization has finally decided to report the truth.