Investigators: Obama’s DHS cooking the books on immigration enforcement

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security has a “dishonest” way of calculating deportation figures that exaggerates their enforcement of immigration laws, House investigators reported today.

“Internal Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by the House Judiciary Committee reveal that President Obama and other administration officials have falsified their record to achieve their so-called historic deportation numbers,” said House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, this morning.

Smith said that the Obama team has claimed to deport about 100,000 more people than it actually has, by including people arrested at the border and sent back to Mexico among their deportation figures.

“This means a single illegal immigrant can show up at the border and be removed numerous times in a single year – and counted each time as a removal,” Smith explained.  “When the numbers from this Border Patrol program are removed from this year’s deportation data, it shows that removals are actually down nearly 20% from 2009.”

Obama has conducted a balancing-act through his presidency in how he talks about high deportation figures while supporting immigration policies that expand a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants or — more recently — “lift the shadow of deportation” from certain categories of illegal immigrants by choosing not to enforce current laws.

The president’s Hispanic base has mixed feelings about his record. “Fifty-nine percent of Latinos said they disapprove of the president’s approach to removing illegal immigrants, more than double the number who said they approved in Pew’s nationwide survey,” ABC News reported in December. “The Pew study found ample confusion among Latinos about the administration’s policy . . . Forty-one percent of Latinos say they’re aware of the heightened deportations, 36 percent thought the numbers have been comparable to those under Bush, and 10 percent said they thought deportations had declined.”

Smith said he found that at least 40,000 of the putative deportations cannot be accounted for, even when considering the people apprehended at the border.

“It’s bad enough that the President has neglected to enforce our immigration laws but it’s even worse that his Administration would distort statistics to deceive the American people,” Smith concluded.

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