The stepped-up deportation plan that’s supposed to target criminal immigrants is working overtime to deport any illegal immigrant found:
Last year, nearly 390,000 illegal immigrants were removed. Critics of the ongoing deportation program say the numbers tell only part of the story. Despite the focus on violent criminals, the majority of the removals handled by ICE still are noncriminals or immigrants accused of lesser infractions such as traffic violations and misdemeanors.
Just 16 percent of immigrants removed this fiscal year are the top-priority, violent criminals known as “Level 1” immigrants, according to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
More than 50 percent of those removed this fiscal year are considered noncriminal.
And we’re sinking $600 million into border security.
So is this bill — along with the 1,200 National Guardsmen Obama sent to the border at the beginning of the month — enough to convince holdouts that the border is secure enough to talk reform? Not likely. Sen. John McCain, for one, has asked for $2 billion and 6,000 additional Border Patrol agents, a far cry from what was passed. Though he added himself as a co-sponsor to the bill, he said the measure is “just a start.”
The budget for all this enforcement, just like the war budget, doesn’t count against the deficit, so no worries about postponing immigration reform indefinitely while we deport every illegal immigrant who’s ever talked to a cop and station Border Patrol agents hip-to-hip from San Diego to Brownsville.