To listen to the mainstream media’s narrative, the Trump administration is rounding up immigrants by the truckload and shipping them off to God knows where. On Feb. 10, a headline in the New York Times warned of “raids” that “have immigrants bracing for enforcement surge.” On the same day, the Washington Post told its readers that “federal agents” were busy “conduct[ing] immigration enforcement raids in at least six states.”
The real showstopper came yesterday in an Associated Press dispatch that claimed that 100,000 National Guard troops had been ordered to start rounding up illegals — an allegation the White House promptly dismissed as false:
This is not true. DHS also confirms it is 100% false https://t.co/MFIJci7XaU
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) February 17, 2017
But the damage has been done, and Democrats in Congress are publicly freaking out in the hopes of getting their constituents to do the same. On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gravely reported:
In another assault on our values, this past week we have witnessed ICE raids across our nation, targeting parents, students, and a DACA-protected Dreamer.
The last of these “victims” is a self-identified gang member and all are guilty of violating our immigration laws, but when your goal is to stir an already agitated populace, you’ll misrepresent the ordinary exercise of jurisprudence as an “assault on our values.”
So what is really happening? The truthful answer is that ICE is conducting business as usual. Although it pains worshipers of Barack Obama to admit it, deportation raids in multiple states occurred routinely during his two terms as president. Here’s Reuters from May 2016:
U.S. immigration officials are planning a month-long series of raids in May and June to deport hundreds of Central American mothers and children found to have entered the country illegally, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters. [Emphasis added]
Granted, deportations plummeted during Obama’s second term (even though he lied about it), but the fact of the matter is that Obama did exactly what the Left is lambasting Donald Trump for doing. The chief difference is that Obama did it on a far grander scale. Here is a chart on ICE removals during the Obama years:
Last week, ICE officers arrested 680 individuals, of whom, according to a statement by DHS Secretary John Kelly, “approximately 75 percent were criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, indecent liberties with a minor, drug trafficking, battery, assault, DUI and weapons charges.” If you prorate the raw number of arrests over twelve months, you end with 8,160. If Trump is going to catch up to Obama in terms of deportations, he’s going to have step us his effort significantly.