Thursday, October 07, 2010


The Obama administration has set a record for deportations, at 392, 862.  But as I have argued before, the administration is very mistaken if it thinks it can use this to its advantage--it will probably have the opposite effect.  In short, the increase does not impress anyone, and alienates some.  From the NYT:

As midterm elections approach, Obama administration officials are facing intense pressure to show they are tough on illegal immigration. States across the country have enacted laws to crack down, citing a failure of the federal government to do the job. An especially broad law adopted by Arizona drew a lawsuit from the federal government and an outcry from Latinos in the state, who said it could lead to harassment and racial profiling. A federal judge stayed central provisions of the law.

Anti-immigration reform Republicans and conservative Democrats will not soften on the administration just because there are more deportations.  Further, it will alienate some Latinos and pro-reform voters.

The net result?  Less political support than before, and perhaps more voters staying home.


boz 11:37 AM  

You (and the article author) are assuming this is some sort of political strategy meant to change public opinion or the political environment. The alternate hypothesis, which may not be popular, is that they're just enforcing the law on the books because that's the executive branch's job, politics be damned.

Greg Weeks 12:20 PM  

No, Obama has openly said so. Here is a 2009 quote: "If the American people don't feel like you can secure the borders, then it's hard to strike a deal that would get people out of the shadows and on a pathway to citizenship who are already here," Obama said. "The attitude of the average American is going to be, well, you're just going to have hundreds of thousands of more coming in each year."

Tambopaxi 1:16 PM  

...So then legally, if not politically, it makes sense for Obama to carry out deportations.

Btw, why would Latinos (i.e., regular American citizens of Hispanic descent) care one way or the other about the deportation of illegal immigrants? Isn't the assumption that they care about illegals from LA rather patronizing in its logic?

Greg Weeks 2:24 PM  

No--polls show strong majorities of Latinos favor a pathway of some sort to citizenship over deportation. I think a key reason is the perception that calls for deportation are based on racism, which affects all people of Latin American descent regardless of their immigration status.

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