Amnesty 2013

Record? Obama Deported Fewer than Carter

While Americans were preparing for the Christmas holiday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) nonchalantly issued its FY 2013 enforcement data. The Obama administration typically chooses these times to make surprise announcements, or bury unflattering reports.

Deportations, as defined by the administration, are down – dropping from 409,849 in FY 2012 to 368,644 in FY 2013. The drop is no surprise to anyone watching Obama scrap worksite enforcement, local and state cooperation, and nearly any other vestige of interior immigration enforcement. The decline of deportations is consistent with this administration’s belief that violating immigration laws – provided no other laws have been broken – is now entirely inconsequential and subject to little or no penalty.

Truth is, enforcement is not just down from last year, it is at near record lows. The administration has been cooking the books by redefining certain border apprehensions as ICE deportations. This has skewed enforcement metrics and has impeded any apples-to-apples comparison of the data.

How the Administration Cooks the Books

The 2013 data reveal that the Obama administration has been inflating their deportation numbers by counting some border apprehensions and returns as ICE deportations. Those two categories have traditionally been reported as separate numbers prompting several members of Congress recently to complain about Obama’s new “accounting” techniques. Yet, even the administration’s deceptive methods cannot hide the fact that the total number of illegal aliens sent back to their countries of origin under the Obama administration numbers is significantly lower than previous administrations.

Record Deportations? More Like Record Lows

  • At an average of 800,863 a year, the Obama administration has deported or otherwise returned fewer illegal aliens than the Ford administration, at 804,081 a year. Over a four year period, Carter also removed or returned more illegal aliens. – see Table 39
  • The total number of illegal aliens sent back to their countries of origin peaked under the Clinton administration at over 1.5 million a year.
  • The George W. Bush administration removed or returned an average of 1.29 million illegal aliens a year.

2013 ICE Deportations

  • Total claimed: 368,644
  • 223,340 illegal aliens (60.6%) were actually apprehended by Border Patrol, but ICE claimed credit for processing.
  • 134,000 illegal aliens were deported by ICE from the interior – down 40% since 2009.
  • Only 8,331 illegal aliens (out of 11.7 million currently in the U.S.) were removed for “merely” being in the country illegally.
  • The odds of an illegal alien having the law enforced against him was about .07% in 2013.

Those who support amnesty are playing along with the administration’s claim that they’re continuing to enforce the law. The “Deporter-in-Chief” narrative plays well for the opposition. Obama is the bad cop trying to enforce the law – “his hands are tied!” And the amnesty lobby can put fake pressure on him to continue to roll back U.S. immigration law.

Credit is due to Center for Immigration Studies’ Jessica Vaughn for tracking ICE deportations numbers and very accurately predicting the FY 2013 data.

States Considered More than 500 Immigration Bills in 2013

2013 Trends in State Immigration-related LegislationWhile the Gang of Eight and federal legislation dominated the immigration news in 2013, a new report from FAIR finds that more than 500 immigration-related bills were introduced in state legislatures across the country. These bills encompassed issues such as extending in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens and implementing state-wide anti-detainer policies that impede federal enforcement of immigration laws.

The report2013: Trends in State Immigration-related Legislation, which summarizes the trends in state immigration-related bills, notes that there was a dramatic increase in the number of bills introduced this year compared to 2012:

2013 saw a significant spike in the introduction of state immigration-related legislation. This spike can be attributed to two main factors. First, pushed by local amnesty advocates, pro-illegal immigration legislators introduced numerous bills and resolutions to complement the push for amnesty from the White House and the United States Senate.

Second, the introduction of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012 inspired a host of bills as states grappled with the decision of whether to extend or restrict benefits to this new class of persons not recognized under federal law….As of August 31, 2013, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) estimated the total number of illegal aliens approved for DACA at around 600,000, while an estimated 1 million additional illegal aliens are still eligible.  USCIS has approved 97 percent of all applicants to the DACA program.

Anti-Detainer Policies

This year, Connecticut and California passed the first state-wide anti-detainer policies in the country, which:

…impede federal enforcement of immigration law by restricting state and local law enforcement agencies from complying with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests, except under limited circumstances. An ICE detainer request advises jails to hold aliens for no more than an additional 48 hours to allow ICE agents time to make arrangements for the transfer of the alien into federal custody for the purpose of removing the alien.

Similar legislation was considered in other states in 2013:

  • Three states introduced but defeated similar legislation: Florida, Texas and Washington.
  • Three states have pending legislation: Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.
  • Montana’s Legislature passed a bill that prohibited anti-detainer policies state-wide, but Governor Steve Bullock (D) vetoed the bill.

For additional information, see FAIR’s report on Sanctuary Policies Across the U.S.

Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Aliens

Nearly half of the state legislatures in the country considered the issue of driver’s licenses or privilege cards for illegal aliens in 2013:

  • Eight states granted driver’s licenses or driver privilege cards to illegal aliens: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia.
  • Ten states defeated similar legislation: Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Texas.
  • Three states have pending legislation: Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.

In-state Tuition for Illegal Aliens

The issue of in-state tuition for illegal aliens made national headlines in New Jersey days before Christmas when Gov. Chris Christie signed S2479, which made illegal aliens eligible for taxpayer-subsidized tuition rates at New Jersey’s public universities. Among other states taking up this issue:

  • Five states granted or expanded eligibility to in-state tuition to illegal aliens at state-affiliated institutions of higher education: California, Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon and New Jersey.
  • Twelve states defeated similar legislation: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.
  • Three states have pending legislation: Michigan, Massachusetts and New York.

Additionally, Board of Regents in Hawaii and Michigan,* amended their policies to allow in-state tuition for illegal aliens. In Ohio, the Board of Regents recently extended in-state tuition to DACA recipients, but legislators quickly introduced legislation to reverse that decision by restricting in-state tuition to United States citizens and nationals.

* Michigan’s policy is limited to the University of Michigan and its satellite campuses.

Click here to read the report or see it embedded below.

Where Are All the Deportations?

Where Are All the Deportations?

“Illegal-alien activists and their allies in Washington have staged vigils, occupied busy intersections and chained themselves to jailhouse fences in a coordinated campaign to persuade President Obama to declare an end to deportations, which they say have reached record levels under his administration,” says CIS’ Jessica Vaughan at the Washington Times.

“According to the federal government office that compiles and publishes immigration statistics, the Obama administration actually has the lowest number of deportations, and lowest average annual number of deportations since the Nixon administration.”

Children Used As Shield Against Deportation

“In fiscal 2012, an estimated 150,000 U.S.-citizen children had a parent deported, according to a study by Human Impact Partners, a health advocacy group,” the Washington Post writes.

“Those who oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants say these are the consequences of illegal activity. Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said that committing any kind of crime has ramifications for families and that immigration violations should not be exceptions.”

“’Children should not be used as human shields,’ Mehlman said. ‘Just because you have kids does not mean that they should shield you from the consequences of your own actions, which is knowingly violating the laws of the United States.’”

ICE Defends Against Charges It Helps Smugglers

“The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement defended the role of federal agents in transporting illegal immigrant children after a federal judge complained they were hand-delivering smuggled kids to parents in the United States,” writes.

“’While the court’s comments did not relate specifically to ICE, it is clear that the transportation of unaccompanied children (UAC) by ICE personnel is appropriate and legal,’ acting Director John Sandweg wrote in a brief email obtained by

“The email was sent Monday and addressed to ‘all ICE employees.’”


NPR Discovers NAFTA Really Boosted Illegal Immigration

NPR Discovers NAFTA Really Boosted Illegal Immigration

“The North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA, turns 20 next week. Hailed as a boon for regional trade, it had some undesirable effects. It hastened a trend away from small farmers, and speeded illegal immigration to the U.S.” says NPR.

“The big wave in illegal immigration from Mexico began in the 1980s. But it picked up strongly after NAFTA. That wasn’t unexpected. Philip Martin predicted it before the trade agreement passed. But Martin – a UC Davis professor who’s long been studying migration – was surprised by how soon and how big the wave came after NAFTA.”

Deportation Fear Cited in Lack of Obamacare Signups

“Enrollment numbers aren’t in yet, but the Obama administration already knows it has fewer Latinos signed up than it would like. One of the reasons they’re not enrolling? Immigrants worry personal information submitted under the Affordable Care Act could be used to deport someone in their family,” National Journal writes.

“The issue is especially critical in California, which has a big Latino population and has employed one of the most vigorous public-outreach campaigns in the country.”

Amnesty Push May Wait Till After GOP Primaries

CBS News has an article about the push for amnesty coming next year. “John Feehery, a Republican strategist a­nd former congressional aide, said getting immigration done will be important for the GOP in the long run if they can do it on their own terms – in a series of shorter bills. But he also predicted that legislation won’t move for several months until the primaries for the 2014 elections have concluded House members will less concerned about challenges from the right.”

DOJ Says Detention Documents Hard to Produce

“Federal prosecutors say they can’t meet a judge’s demands they quickly deliver documents about thousands of immigrants who’ve been detained nationwide for months or years as their immigration statuses are reviewed.
The office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara laid out the government’s position to U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman in a letter made public Wednesday,” Fox News reports.

“The letter, dated Tuesday, came five days after the judge criticized the government, saying it had been on notice since the American Civil Liberties Union requested the documents nearly five years ago. The ACLU eventually filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in Manhattan federal court in 2011 seeking documents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”


Holiday Greetings from Dan Stein


I’d like to wish each and everyone a Merry Christmas, a happy holiday season and Happy New Year. Enjoy family and friends, pause and reflect, recharge and regroup. 2014 has a lot in store.

There will be turmoil ahead, and choices will not always be so easy. Dante opined that those who maintained neutrality in a period of moral crisis would face dire consequences. Paine, too, thought moderation of principle to be something of a vice. Keep that in mind, and be at peace this day fully satisfied that you have stood uncompromisingly on sound principle in this difficult world.  As we gather with family and friends to celebrate and reflect, then let us find new strength and resolution to carry forward through the next year and beyond.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!