0 votes

Obama is gearing up federal agencies to try to retake control of the border

By Peter Slevin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 25, 2010; 4:05 PM

In a bid to remake the enforcement of federal immigration laws, the Obama administration is deporting record numbers of illegal immigrants and auditing hundreds of businesses that blithely hire undocumented workers.

The Immigation and Customs Enforcement agency anticipates deporting about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration's 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007. The pace of company audits has roughly quadrupled since former President Bush's final year in office.

The effort is part of President Obama's larger project "to make our national laws actually work," as he put it in a speech this month at American University. Partly designed to entice Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform, the mission is proving difficult and politically perilous.

Obama is drawing flak from hawks who contend the administration is weak on border security and from doves who are disappointed that he has not done more to fulfill his campaign promise to help the country's estimated 11 million illegal residents. Trying to thread a needle, the president contends enforcement -- including the deployment of fresh troops to the Mexico border -- is a necessary but insufficient solution.

A June 30 memorandum from Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton instructed officers to focus their "principal attention" on felons and repeat lawbreakers. The policy, influenced by a series of sometimes heated White House meetings, also targets repeat border crossers while declaring that parents caring for children or the infirm should only be detained in unusual cases.

"We're trying to put our money where our mouth is," Morton said in an interview, describing the goal as a "rational" immigration policy. "You've got to have aggressive enforcement against criminal offenders. You have to have a secure border. You have to have some integrity in the system."

Morton said the 400,000 people expected to be deported this year -- either physically removed or allowed to leave on their own power -- represent the maximum the overburdened processing, detention and immigration court system can handle.

The Obama administration has been moving away from using worksite raids to target employers. Just 765 undocumented workers have been arrested at their jobs this fiscal year, compared with 5,100 in 2008, according to Department of Homeland Security figures. Instead, officers have increased employer audits, studying the employee documentation of 2,875 companies suspected of hiring illegal workers and assessing $6.4 million in fines.

On the ground, a program known as Secure Communities uses


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
reedr3v's picture

Those who clamor for tough controls

on the border may regret it yet if the Feds do take control away from their states.

I share the same response

What was it about the Posse Comitatus Act that foaming at the mouth "gimme my iron curtain now" crowd doesn't understand?


Suddenly Obama got religion?

Suddenly Obama got religion? He now wants us to believe that he is concerned about our borders? And what's this about "immigration reform"? I don't want immigration reform, I want immigration enforcement.

This is a desperate attempt to regain what the federal government has lost through default - control of our borders. As long as Washington is more concerned about the borders of foreign nations than the borders of our own nation, the states will have to pick up the slack.

You want immigration

You want immigration enforcement? Be careful what you ask for... You demand an all-powerful government and you just might get it.

We already now we are going

We already now we are going to get Patriot Enforcement straight to the FEMA Camps. Damn well better get Illegal Entry enforced.

There is no Left or Right -- there is only freedom or tyranny. Everything else is an illusion, an obfuscation to keep you confused and silent as the world burns around you." - Philip Brennan

"Invest only in things that you can stand in front of and pr

hahahahaha...typical DC tactics

watch the prez speak

from both sides of his mouth

while pointing left and right

as supported by his chorus (the CONgress)

ungleefully carrying the tune

while unseen hands and handlers are

moving the pawns around the chess board

DC: the place where folks not talented or good looking enough for Hollyweird put on their own "reality" show for the masses

cee cee

When pigs fly. I believe

When pigs fly. I believe this when I see it. That's why the Feds are rushing to Laredo to confront Los Zetas.

There is no Left or Right -- there is only freedom or tyranny. Everything else is an illusion, an obfuscation to keep you confused and silent as the world burns around you." - Philip Brennan

"Invest only in things that you can stand in front of and pr

SteveMT's picture

They want to try and trump AZ, before 7/29/10

Arizona immigration law takes effect July 29, but anger over immigration has been in state for years
BY Sean Alfano
Sunday, July 25th 2010, 2:58 PM

With five days to go before Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration law takes effect, tempers have flared on both sides of the heated debate.

Of course, many in Arizona will say immigration has always been the most important issue facing the state.

In 2006, voters said yes to a trio of immigration crackdown measures, as well as a bid to make English the official state language.

Those measures sprouted from anger over Congress not passing reforms that would have added more National Guard troops to the border it shares with Mexico.

Fueling the anger over immigration are the bloody drug wars between Mexican gangs and a U.S. economy hit by a recession.




Follow me on Twitter for breaking news from a libertarian perspective


uh huh

We'll just have to see about this one.