Adam Serwer at Mother Jones has a post on just which alternate universe's events the conservative outrage at President Obama's immigration policies is based on, considering that the Obama administration just celebrated their one millionth deportation, while Bush's only managed 1.5 million in eight years.
Partially it's the supposed new plan to prioritize illegal immigrants who have broken other laws, giving those with strong family or community ties or other compelling reasons to stay in the U.S., the chance to (maybe) stick around. But Obama is still doing fine at booting out hard-working non-Americans.
So says Serwer:
Despite the administration's stated focus on unauthorized immigrants with criminal records, more than half of those deported had no criminal records, 54 percent to 46 percent. But that number doesn't convey what percentage of removals categorized as criminal include serious or violent offenses as opposed to minor ones.
Theoretically Obama's strict enforcement policies were supposed to lay the groundwork for comprehensive immigration reform. But being a bigger enforcement hawk than Bush not only didn't bring any Republicans to the table; it also hasn't torn them from the alternate universe in which Obama is mailing green cards to every unauthorized immigrant in the country. Give that more than half of Latino voters know someone who is undocumented, there could be substantial consequences for the president when he seeks to win the Latino vote again in 2012. There's always the possibility, though, that the GOP will rescue the president's standing among Latino voters when they seek to harness the anti-immigrant fervor of their base.
As Matt Welch pointed out near the last GOP debate, not so long ago, in the hallowed days of Reagan and George H.W. Bush, the debate was about who could be the most sensitive, nuanced, and reasonable about illegals coming into the U.S. to work.
But now the weakest (mainstream-approved) GOP candidate on illegals, Gov. Rick Perry, is making sure to court the all-important Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsement to show he's tough on Mexico.
Marcos Breton wrote an awesomely withering condemnation of U.S. immigration policy as well. Here's a sample from The Kansas City Star's website:
Do we house criminals committing violent crimes? Or do we house immigrants who largely pose no threat to society but are prisoners of our immigration insanity?
Many of our "illegals" wouldn't be illegals if we ever crafted laws that took into account our need for cheap labor. Bring a farmworker or a hotel maid under a legal umbrella because he or she is providing a service we need and suddenly we have fewer illegals.
But we can't find the will. We don't reform our laws, and no politician in Washington, D.C., will honestly touch the issue, because DEPORT THEM ALL rules the land.
Read the whole thing here.
Reason on immigration.