The Obama Administration And Immigration Enforcement.

Greg Sargent has a statement from Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, responding to the news that the Obama administration will sue Arizona over their draconian immigration law, SB 1070:

"The American people must wonder whether the Obama Administration is really committed to securing the border when it sues a state that is simply trying to protect its people by enforcing immigration law.

"Attorney General Holder speaks of the 'federal government's responsibility' to enforce immigration laws; but what are the people of Arizona left to do when the federal government fails in its responsibility?

"The Obama Administration has not done everything it can do to protect the people of Arizona from the violence and crime illegal immigration brings to our state. Until it does, the federal government should not be suing Arizona on the grounds that immigration enforcement is solely a federal responsibility."

In response, I offer this chart detailing the number of deportations over the past decade:

Immigration chart.JPG

Deportations in 2010 and 2009 were higher than at any time during the Bush administration -- something that has to be viewed within the context of a declining undocumented immigrant population.Of course, when Bush wanted to press immigration reform, both Kyl and McCain were on board. Now they're attacking Obama for lax enforcement, even though he's taken a harder line on deportations than Bush ever did.

We know how this debate is going to play out in the press: News outlets will simply report that Republicans are attacking Obama for lax enforcement, avoid evaluating that claim on the merits, and ultimately publish a few thumb-sucking think pieces about how lies and misinformation dominate the immigration debate but no one knows why.

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