Although there is bipartisan support for Obama’s new immigration reform proposal, it is inevitable that Obama’s opponents will try to paint him as soft on illegal immigration. So let’s clear this up now: Obama has never been soft on illegal immigration. During his time as president, there has been an increase in deportations, border agents, and spending on immigration enforcement. There has also been a decline in illegal immigration.
This tends to be underreported because Liberals aren’t very comfortable with this record and Conservatives want to paint Democrats as soft on illegal immigration.
Here are the facts:
Deportations Hit a Record High Under Obama:
The Obama Administration has deported more undocumented residents than all of his predecessors. In 2012, Obama deported nearly 410,000 people, which is a record number for the U.S. government.
There Has Been an Increase in Border Patrol Agents and Immigration Enforcement Spending Under Obama:
Obama has more than doubled the number of border agents since the middle of the Bush years. A report from the Migration Policy Institute found that Obama spent more than $18 billion on immigration enforcement, which is more than the administration spend on all other federal law enforcement agencies combined in the fiscal year 2012. Doris Meissner, one of the report’s coauthors, argued that:
Immigration enforcement can be seen as the federal government’s highest criminal law enforcement priority, judged on the basis of budget allocations, enforcement actions and case volumes
Because of these efforts, and because of the U.S. economy, illegal immigration has likely declined during Obama’s presidency. Let’s keep this in mind when his critics start to argue that he has not done enough to secure the borders.