President Obama today told law enforcement officials they should be doing something else other than enforcing immigration law, which says a lot about how much Republicans can expect him to stick to the terms of any immigration deal.
From his remarks, made today at the White House:
It’s estimated that over 80 percent of the folks who are here on an undocumented basis have been here 10 years or longer. These are folks who are woven into the fabrics of our communities. Their kids are going to school with our kids. Most of them are not making trouble; most of them are not causing crimes.
And yet, we put them in this tenuous position and it creates a situation in which your personnel, who have got to go after gang-bangers and need to be going after violent criminals and deal with the whole range of challenges, and who have to cooperate with DHS around our counterterrorism activities — you’ve got to spend time dealing with somebody who is not causing any other trouble other than the fact that they were trying to make a living for their families. That’s just not a good use of our resources. It’s not smart. It doesn’t make sense.
Well, Obama’s compassion doesn’t just extend to the family man illegally mowing your lawn. The administration also last year released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody 36,000 illegal immigrants who had been convicted of murder, sexual assault, kidnapping, and aggravated assault, and drunk or drugged driving.
Adding to the distrust is Obama’s redefinition of “deportation,” allowing him to claim he’s even tougher on illegals than Bush. From the Center for Immigration Studies:
In 2012, the year the Obama administration claimed to break enforcement records, more than one-half of removals attributed to ICE were the result of Border Patrol arrests that would never have been counted as a removal in prior years. In 2008, under the Bush administration, only one-third of removals were from Border Patrol arrests.
The White House thinks it may be able to get an immigration deal during a lame duck Congress, once the political pressure is off. Republicans won’t just be sacrificing principle for a deal. They’ll be played for suckers.