Keeping It 100: Obama’s Real Views On Illegal Immigration

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Written by Ann Brown
Obama
By Autumn Keiko

Trump is all immigration talk. But the fact is under the Obama administration, more people were deported in the same about of time in office. According to an Axios report, deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials surpassed 385,000 each year between fiscal 2009 and 2011. That surpasses Trump’s numbers.

Although, as Obama’s second term was coming to an end, in fiscal 2015 and 2016, deportations fell below 250,000 people per year.

“By comparison, ICE deportations under President Trump dropped to about 226,000 in fiscal 2017, according to Axios. This number jumped to more than 250,000 in fiscal 2018,” The Hill reported.

Now as Biden is running for office, many are questioning him on him and Obama’s immigration policies.  

“Biden needs to be accountable,” Joe Enriquez Henry, vice president of the Midwestern region of League of United Latin American Citizens, told Politico. “Biden needs to make it clear, if he wants to be president, that he has compassion and understanding and he needs to ask for forgiveness.”

In fact, some immigration advocacy groups labeled then-President Barack Obama as the “deporter in chief” during his bid for reelection in 2012. 

But experts say it’s more complicated than just the numbers.

“A straight numbers-by-numbers comparison doesn’t provide an accurate picture of what was going on in the administration,” Cecilia Muñoz, who was a top domestic policy adviser to Obama and is now with the left-leaning New America Foundation, told CNN.

According to Muñoz, Obama prioritized deporting people convicted of serious crimes and recent arrivals who had no criminal records.

“If you’re not targeting and focused on people who recently arrived, then the border is effectively open,” Muñoz said, adding: “It is more humane to be removing people who have been here two weeks than it is to be removing people who have been here for 20 years and have families.”

Trump, on the other hand, wants to deport as many people, regardless of their criminal or non-criminal backgrounds,  as possible.

And Trump has been very vocal in his “dislike” of immigrants and immigration. Who can forget his calling some Mexican immigrants “rapists”? Then his planned raids, have affected countless immigrant families.

“Obama used executive action to temporarily give protected status to undocumented people who arrived in the US as children, and curbed deportations from the interior states of the country. His focus, particularly toward the end of his administration, was on quick ‘returns’ of new arrivals at the border who were perceived to have had fewer ties in the US — though that, controversially, included the same types of Central American migrants whose arrival has swamped the border this year,” CNN reported.

Trump, however, wants to end Obama’s program shielding undocumented young people from deportation.