President Obama: Time to Reconsider Immigration Policy

March 8th, 2010 · 9 Comments

As the clock continues to tick and the number of deportations, detentions, and immigrant prosecutions continue in much the same fashion that occurred under the previous administration, Latino and immigrant rights groups are beginning to express their frustration publicly with the lack of leadership from the White House on this issue. The Department of Homeland Security has requested a more enforcement heavy budget for FY 2011. And the continued deportation policy has proven to not be very cost effective. Actually, back in 2005, the Center for American Progress conducted a cost analysis of a mass deportation policy and found this:

“Well, the Center for American Progress today released the first-ever cost assessment of a mass deportation policy for the 10 million undocumented persons currently in the country and the 500,000 that successfully cross the border each year. And guess what? It would essentially drain the Treasury. The data analysis estimates the cost to be at least $206 billion over 5 years ($41.2 billion annually), and could be as high as $230 billion. We arrived at this number even after assuming that 2 million of the 10 million would leave on their own–a pretty large assumption.”

Back when he was candidate Obama, we were led to believe that he would not walk away from the 12 million undocumented people living in the shadows here in the United States and that there would be a “humane and comprehensive” immigration reform. You can see that here:

And now here we are in March 2010, and the raids continue, but today the Department of Homeland Security tells us that it overstated the number of deportations during President Obama’s first year in office. It’s rather convenient that DHS chooses to correct its deportation numbers on the day that multi-ethnic, immigrant rights groups hold the following press conference. Please do watch the press conference on immigration reform on this C-SPAN link and share your thoughts. It definitely is a compelling news conference.

My thought is that President Obama could stop the raids at a minimum before enacting comprehensive immigration reform, but I’m not holding my breath. However, there is something we all can do if we are bothered by the continued raids and lack of movement on immigration reform, we can contact the White House online. I’m going to do it, and I encourage you to do so as well. Comments on this blog only go so far, but a comment directly into the White House will have a stronger impact.

Tags: Barack Obama · Department of Homeland Security · Economics · Immigration

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 mark hough // Mar 9, 2010 at 5:21 am

    I have sent my letter of frustration and anger.

  • 2 Matthew Kolken // Mar 9, 2010 at 9:03 am

    The obvious answer to the million dollar question is that Obama has no intention to meaningfully address comprehensive immigration reform.

    Since being elected his has focused all of his energies towards deporting more people than any President in the history of our country.

    Actions speak louder than words, and I refuse to be fooled by this President any longer. He has to be voted out in 2012 if we are to have any hope for immigration reform.

  • 3 jackie // Mar 9, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I suppose I’m at a loss as to why any illegal immigrant should expect to enjoy the full protections of the United States. We might be the land of the free and home of the brave, but we’re also a land of laws. There exists an immigration policy; use it wisely.

  • 4 Anna // Mar 9, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Re: “Back when he was candidate Obama, we were led to believe that he would not walk away from the 12 million undocumented people…”

    YOU were led to believe. I knew this fool was a liar from day one.

  • 5 Anna // Mar 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Re: “I suppose I’m at a loss as to why any illegal immigrant should expect to enjoy the full protections of the United States.”

    Because Obama promised to pursue immigration reform during the campaign. He said that to get votes and it worked. He made the promise, so he shouldn’t be surprised that people expect him to keep it.

    And it’s funny how you say the full protections of the United States. The issue is one of human rights. Millions of people have been pushed off of their land because of NAFTA. American corporations move to Mexico and pollute the ground water and the soil making it impossible for people to live in certain areas. Google Smithfield Farms and their fecal lagoons. Maybe people should start paying attention to what our government does in our own hemisphere.

  • 6 Anna // Mar 10, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Obama is the President the least familar with Mexican-American people that we have had in a long time.

    JFK included Mexican-Americans in his Viva Kennedy campaign and both Bobby and Ted understood Mexican-American issues.

    LBJ was from Texas and included Mexican-Americans in Civil Rights enforcement. He also intervened on behalf of a WWII soldier named Felix Longoria who was not allowed to be buried in Texas. Johnson made arrangements to have him buried at Arlington.

    Nixon was from CA, and while he was a GOP racist, he at least had some familiarity with Mexican-Americans, as did Reagan, who legalized immigrant workers. Presidents Bush I and II also were familiar with Mexican-Americans, as was Clinton who worked for McGovern in Texas.

    How has Obama been better for Mexican-Americans than Bush? To my knowledge he has never set foot in the Southwest, and he doesn’t appear at all familar with us or our history in this country. He thinks we’re all “new.”

  • 7 Michaelr // Mar 16, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Familiarity does not equal support, or recognition. What most of these Presidents did was politically acknowledge an established lower level work force based on ethnicity. Latinos remain at the bottom sector of the American labor force, continually exploited and fiscally robbed by agricultural co-ops, building contractors, food establishments, and local, state, and federal politicians and government agencies.

    JFK opened the door to Latinos seeking employment within the government sector. LBJ allowed them to participate in the “Great Society” programs. Nixon actually continued LBJ’s Great Society programs. Reagan allowed Latino immigrants to flood the manufacturing sector, driving down real wages, once his administration began to systematically dismantle the unions, and then permitting industrialized America to relocate just across the border. Bush One further encouraged Industrialized America to vacate the U.S., allowing tax benefits to assist in those departures. Clinton allowed those same manufacturers tax benefits to vacate Latin America and relocate their plants to the Pacific Rim and China. Bush Two named Alberto Gonzales attorney general. Obama hasn’t displayed any political behavior targeting the exploitation of any one specific ethnic group. Although, from reading some of these comments you would think some Tea Partiers’ have invaded this blog.

  • 8 Latino Congressmen Take a Gamble with Health Care Reform // Mar 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm

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  • 9 irma // Mar 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Obama did not get my vote last time.
    Immigration reform is my issue.
    Lets see if he earns my vote next time.

    No, I didnt vote for McCain, I just didnt vote for President.

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