Saturday, December 11, 2010

Playing with immigration numbers

Although I share his indignation, I disagree with Mike Munger's conclusion here and my indignation is a bit different.  The story is that ICE officials used very dubious means (just read the Washington Post article, which is depressing) to reach "record" numbers of deportations.*

But each successive revelation about how ICE "broke" the record is more preposterous and outrageous. Have we completely lost respect for the basic rule of law? And then to have these bureaucrats just LIE....Wow. I mean, the guy who outed the administration's fibs is the head of their own union. The admin lied about changing the rules, and artificially decreed that the year would be longer, on both ends. Good lord.

WaPo is hardly some right wing blogger. There actually appears to be something moving, where fair-minded people on the left are sick and tired of the Obama shenanigans.

But here is the point I think Mike misses.  Even without the fake counting, the Obama administration is deporting people in truly massive numbers, with a commitment that exceeds the Bush administration even if a "record" is not achieved, which in any case was very close.  The tinkering is therefore at the margins.  That deportation commitment--which is very expensive but very easy to get funding for--greatly exceeds its own professed commitment to immigration reform.

In other words, I think it is fair to say that many people, myself included, are tired not so much of shenanigans, but of policy.

* Obsession with records is a pet peeve of mine.  I've written before about how how pervasive that has been in drug interdictions.  Trying to reach artificial record numbers also helped create the false positives scandal in Colombia.


Hipporage 2:33 AM  

Damn it. Your right. Do these deportations directly relate to Obama's specific policy or is it the system thats running like this? What I mean by this is, Is it Obama pushing for this or is it that he's president at a time when the system is so messed up that this is happening?

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