Despite the controversy over Donald Trump’s immigration ban, a current question after numbers of raids targeting illegal immigrants took place this month is whether or not Trump is harder on illegal immigrants than Obama was during his tenure.
Donald Trump has made it clear he does not approve of illegal immigrants entering the country, and one of his January executive orders instructed law enforcement agencies to further pursue avenues of increasing their effectiveness at deporting undocumented immigrants. Raids this month by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers rounded up between 600 and 700 illegal immigrants.
The raids were aimed primarily at undocumented immigrants with a history of crime, and the ICE statistics on the arrest indicate that approximately 75 percent of those arrested have been in violation of laws other than those regarding immigration.
According to the Independent Journal Review, “There were 161 DUIs, 47 cases of domestic violence, 15 assaults with an aggravated weapon, 15 cases of sex offense/fondling against a child and dozens of other cases of sexual and violent crimes. In total, 507 of the 683 apprehended immigrants had criminal convictions, on par with Kelly’s claim of 75 percent. However, as Democrats noted, some of the crimes were less severe, including traffic violations and shoplifting.”
Despite a proactive approach to dealing with undocumented immigrants, is Donald Trump actually harder on illegals than Barack Obama?
That question is hard to answer, as so far there is very little data from Trump’s presidency, not because of obscuring of information, but rather because the administration has been in power just under a month compared to the eight years of Obama’s tenure as president. On the other hand, there is plenty of information regarding Obama’s actions against undocumented immigrants.
For instance, ABC News pointed out in August, 2016, that Obama had deported quite a large number of illegal immigrants.
“Between 2009 and 2015 his administration has removed more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders, which doesn’t include the number of people who ‘self-deported’ or were turned away and/or returned to their home country at the border by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”
Other reports indicate the total number may be above 3 million people deported under those same parameters. As a result, Obama was responsible for deporting significantly more illegal immigrants than any other president in history, even more than the entire 20th century combined.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 29, 2016
Unfortunately, the media has painted Trump in a far more negative light regarding his administration’s stance on illegal immigration, no doubt in part due to the brash nature of his controversial targeted immigration ban. This is unfortunate because it ignores recent history, the fact a Democrat deported more people than his Republican predecessor because it fails to fit a narrative appropriate to the perceived political culture.
There are plenty of problems with Trump’s intent to crackdown on illegal immigration at this time. For one thing, ICE does not have sufficient facilities to hold all of the arrested individuals and is having to contract out to local jails and privately run prison facilities to hold all those arrested. This has led to detainees being housed hundreds of miles away from their arrest location. There are also reports indicating that the level of activity, if sustained, is likely to surpass the budgeted expectations of Congress for holding prisoners from these types of arrests.
Both Obama and Trump have taken measures to alleviate the problems. Both have put plans in place to provide local law enforcement agencies the ability to support ICE operations. The Atlantic reports “The Obama administration put in place a solution that is already proving beneficial to Trump: a blueprint on how to outsource immigration enforcement to local cops, leveraging their resources and infrastructure to execute Trump’s proposal to detain and deport millions of undocumented immigrants who have ‘criminal records.'”
So what are your thoughts on the current efforts made to deport illegal/undocumented immigrants? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Bryan Cox/Getty Images]