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Bloggings on Deportation And Removal

by Matthew Kolken

Obama Administration "cooking the books" to calculate Record Deportation Number

What do you want to hear first, the good news or the bad news?

Here's the good news: the Obama administration may not have broken its own deportation record last fiscal year. 

The bad news is that 392,862 people were deported by the administration over an approximate 12 month period.

What is now at issue is the methodology for the calculation of the deportations.

The Washington Post has reported that the Obama Administration "cooked the books" to reach the record number of deportations (392,862) this past fiscal year.  It appears that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) included approximately 19,000 immigrants who were forcibly returned during the previous fiscal year, and an additional 6,500 individuals that were forcibly returned under the Mexican repatriation program, that was extended by an unprecedented five weeks.  This extension enabled the 6,500 individuals who were forcibly returned under the program to be included in ICE statistics rather than U.S. Border Patrol statistics.

The point that should not be lost in any of this hair splitting is not that Obama didn't break his own deportation record, but that his administration deported 392,862 people over an approximate 12 month span.  I personally don't for one second care how these numbers were tabulated.  What I do care about is the fact that the number of people who have been forcibly removed since Obama has been elected is rapidly reaching the one million mark, and we are no closer to immigration reform than we were when he campaigned to address it in his first year in office.

What I find particularly annoying about this non-story is that the head of ICE, John Morton, specifically stated in his October 6, 2010 news conference that nothing out of the ordinary was done by ICE to achieve the 392,862 deportations statistic.  He stated that: "When [Secretary Napolitano] tells you that the numbers are at an all-time high, that's straight, on the merits, no cooking of the books, It's what happened." 

Or maybe not.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if for once our government officials looked us straight in the eye and actually told the plain straight truth. Is anyone else tired of hearing from our elected and appointed officials that "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is." I know I am, and apparently so is the American public.  It is no wonder the Democrats suffered the "shellacking" this past November.  They have proven to be no better, and maybe worse than the Republicans.  At least under Bush we all knew we were being lied to.  So much for transparency.