States rush to pass their own immigration laws while Congress watches, seemingly more amused than concerned. Meanwhile, quietly, the Obama administration is sending undocumented immigrants who break the law packing.
Obama is deporting far more law-breaking immigrants than George W. Bush ever did, sometimes by margins of 2-1 or greater. That fact has led Dee Dee Garcia Blase, national director of Somos Republicans to say Obama may need to fire Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
“Hispanics are upset,” Garcia Blase said. “Because of all these state legislatures introducing anti-Hispanic laws, most Hispanics still feel safer voting for Obama than they would for Republicans.”
“Republican legislatures across the country are scaring Hispanics into feeling safer sticking with the party that isn’t trying to impose these laws. Still, Obama is enforcing the laws that are on the books, He may need to consider firing Janet Napolitano. that would send a warm fuzzy signal to Hispanics,” she said, adding that there have been a million Hispanics deported since Obama became president.
“If the Republican Party was not so hostile to Hispanics, they could give Obama a run for his money. Republicans need a stronger candidate if they want to compete with Obama. I think Rick Perry might be able to do it, but Obama seems on track to raise a billion dollars and I don’t see any Republican doing that.”
She said Somos Republicans gave Perry its Latino Friendly award in 2010 but that the Texas governor has since alienated some Hispanics with his stance against sanctuary cities in Texas.
“Latino Republicans are doing all we can in this anti-immigrant era we are living in,” she said.
Huge increases in deportations of people after they were arrested for breaking traffic or immigration laws or driving drunk helped the Obama administration set a record last year for the number of criminal immigrants forced to leave the country, documents show.
The U.S. deported nearly 393,000 people in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, half of whom were considered criminals. Of those, 27,635 had been arrested for drunken driving, more than double the 10,851 deported after drunken driving arrests in 2008, the last full year of the Bush administration, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data provided to the Associated Press.
An additional 13,028 were deported last year after being arrested on less serious traffic law violations, nearly three times the 4,527 traffic offenders deported two years earlier, according to the data.
Steven Rodriquez, Colorado director of Somos Republicans, also is not amused. He told The Colorado Independent that Obama should exercise compassion when dealing with immigrants, and should work to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
“Every new administration brings its own set of values and priorities to the task of interpreting and implementing existing laws. With the lack of comprehensive immigration reform we urge President Obama to take action. We urge the President and his administration to use the power of the executive branch to prevent or defer removals, to revisit current policies and priorities, and to interpret the law as compassionately as possible,” Rodriguez said via email.
“We urge the exercising of prosecutorial discretion in individual cases by declining to put people in removal proceedings, terminating proceedings, or stopping removals in cases where people have longstanding ties to the community, U.S.-citizen family members, or other characteristics that merit a favorable exercise of discretion, prioritizing “criminal aliens” over “non-criminal aliens.
“In June 2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton issued a memorandum directing ICE staff to consider many of these same factors when deciding whether or not to exercise prosecutorial discretion.
“We urge President Obama and his Administration to stand behind his previous campaign promise advocating for comprehensive immigration reform. In addition we urge the administration to stop the deportation of any and all military veterans and to review the previous deportation of hundreds of military veterans who have honorably served in the U.S. armed forces.”
Deporting people for relatively minor offenses is even drawing the attention of the international media. From The International Business Times:
Deportations resulting from traffic violations and drunk driving arrests increased sharply in the last fiscal year, casting doubt on the Obama administration’s assertion that it is targeting violent criminals for deportation.
Obama has presided over a record number of deportations, establishing a tough enforcement approach in what many observers see as a bid to win Republican support for an eventual overhaul of immigration law. He has responded to criticism from Latinos and immigrant advocates by saying he is deporting immigrants whose criminal behavior poses a threat to public safety.