Sunday, August 4, 2019

Why Trump Has Deported Fewer Immigrants Than Obama

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
After months of national debate over President Trump’s immigration policies, the record of his predecessor is playing a starring role in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
The spotlight has fallen on President Barack Obama’s record on immigrant removals, which included the deportation of nearly three million foreigners during his eight years in the White House, after a debate this week in which the foes of former Vice President Joe Biden challenged him forcefully on the topic.
Yet it is Mr. Trump, who made his tougher stance on immigration a key plank of his 2016 presidential campaign, who is struggling to get his promised deportation machine up and running. Under Mr. Obama, removals hit a record of 409,849 in 2012; in 2018, under Mr. Trump, 256,085 immigrants were deported.
That slowdown is in no small part because of the Obama administration, which, in its first term, allowed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to expand a Bush-era program known as Secure Communities.
That program used a little-known information-sharing requirement to collect fingerprints of people booked into local jails across the country and identify illegal immigrants for deportation. It secured record removals, but the backlash against it also created many of the obstacles that Mr. Trump has encountered in enacting his agenda, many experts say.
Secure Communities was responsible for Obama earning the title of “deporter in chief,” said Muzaffar Chishti, a lawyer and director of the New York office of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. But, he added: “Secure Communities became the breeding ground for the resistance, and it led to activism in the form of enactment of state laws.”
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

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