What Barack Obama Didn’t Tell You About Those Deportations Down On The Border

I listened to president Obama’s speech down on the American-Mexican border in El Paso, TX., yesterday. I was pleased that he actually took the time to address the issue at a time when politicians are focused on deficits and spending as opposed to job creating and economic boost. But I suppose when you’re seeking reelection, a little pandering doesn’t hurt; especially when it’s related to a campaign promise long broken. He did make a good case for reform beyond the usual rhetoric; he made it clear that immigration reform is of economic imperative. Of course this is a point I’ve discussed before on this site.

I’m of the belief that if more people realized the economic benefit of comprehensive immigration reform, then at least we can see our way forward making positive changes. Unfortunately for the cause, the racist anti-immigration movement spends a lot of money suppressing this notion with nothing but ignorant lies as they push for enforcement of immigration laws, and the tired talk of securing the border. If they had it there way, all undocumented immigrants would be rounded and deported.

And of course it doesn’t matter than doing so isn’t cost effective; and, providing a path to legalization is. The anti-immigrant movement positions itself as pro-America, when in truth they’re pro-racist. This is why I was happy Obama mentioned the  economic benefit. Enforcement is one thing, but the economic contributions to this country should not be ignored.

Speaking of enforcement, and the 70% increase in deportations since president Obama has taken office. Check out the following story which illustrates the “problem” with the ICE’s Secure Communities program, and just why said detentions and subsequent deportations via effective policing, is working depending on who you ask or who is doing the pandering to secure reelection:
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), its Secure Communities program “improves public safety every day by transforming the way criminal aliens are identified and removed from the United States.”

It’s certainly transforming the way at least one alien was identified as criminals. Isaura Garcia is now embroiled in deportation proceedings after landing on the Secure Communities radar.

Her “crime”? Reporting to cops the domestic violence she was suffering.

Secure Communities was foisted on us to deport criminals by cross-checking immigration and law-enforcement databases and prioritizing which detainees pose the greatest threat, according to the ICE page for the program.

Civil libertarians are now using Garcia’s saga to point to chinks in the feds’ armor.

“Although the Secure Communities program purports to target ‘criminal aliens,’ the case of Isaura Garcia demonstrates that the opposite is true,” reads a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU-SC). “Crime victims and non-criminals are affected by the program in great numbers.” (source)Great, I’m sure that the community where this woman lived feels much safer now that she’s off of the streets.. Never mind her being the victim of a crime, or even the fact that immigrants are often victims of crimes that they almost never report out of fear. The fact that they placed this “criminal” in deportation proceedings is all that matters. Because of course you know being in the country illegally is as criminal as it gets here in America.

Say what you want, but a program that is intended to keep communities safer that isn’t discretionary in application is a major failure. And this is one of the many problems of our broken system. The fact that a federal judge is not able to use discretion, and deal with deportations on an individual case by case basis is problematic. But does anyone really care? If the immigration warrants blatant racial profiling as ICE did recently by stalking “illegal-immigrant-looking” parents as they dropped their kids off at a Detroit school – an act which ICE has admitted to being a violation and outside of guidelines – then I guess we’re in trouble. There’s a need for reform, yes; but until then, president Obama can and has the power to stop these practices. But y’all don’t hear me though; arresting people for jaywalking and claiming it as a “tough on crime,” effective policing initiative, really doesn’t do anything as far as solving the crime problem. Tout it as a victory all you want, and show that arrests are up; I doubt the people directly affected by “real crimes” would believe or cheer on your victory.

Political pandering or not, I’m happy that the president spoke yesterday on the need for reform; and pretty much put the ball in the court of Republican politicians.With an election year only months away, and with the subject of redistricting in areas with a significant Latino population. Now is the best time if there never was to make something happen. Rather than waiting for states to attempt to enact some of the most racist laws – like Alabama’s recent ban on undocumented students at high school proms – the federal government should be proactive in getting immigration reform sooner than later.