Obama Apologists Should Share Blame for Deportations


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Photo: seiu.org
By Miguel Pérez

From the very beginning, everyone knew there was something morally wrong with it. And yet, many Hispanic community leaders shamefully pretended not to see it and went along with the Obama administration’s aggressive immigrant deportation policy.
They were duped into believing that by deporting thousands of sacrificial lambs, President Barack Obama would demonstrate strength on border security and gain a stronger position to persuade some Republicans to pass comprehensive immigration reform through Congress.
Yet now, almost 2 million deportations later, now that immigration reform has been shut out of Congress by Republicans, some prominent Democrats and Latino community leaders are acting as if they are surprised and outraged by Obama’s record-breaking deportations. But they should really be sharing the blame for having supported Obama’s farce for several years!
I remember how the increased deportations were originally sold to Latinos as a necessary evil, how many Hispanic community activists who trusted the president went out to warn undocumented immigrants that things would get worse before they got better. I remember how Obama administration officials let it be known that their raids, border re-enforcements and deportations were meant to convince Republicans, who insisted on border security first, to agree on a comprehensive immigration reform plan.
But that was years ago. For quite a long time, it has been obvious that there aren’t enough sacrificial lambs to satisfy the xenophobes who are driving the Republican Party. This was noted in this column almost three years ago!
“It has become obvious that no amount of immigration enforcement would be enough to satisfy the thirst for deportations that drives the conservative (and most influential) wing of the Republican Party,” I wrote in April of 2011. ” Regardless of how many fences Obama tries to build or how many immigrant families he separates, conservative extremists will keep moving the goalpost to the right, until they deport even Obama!”
And yet Obama kept deporting immigrants at a record-breaking pace, with many co-opted Hispanic Democrats quietly acquiescing. Last year, a study found that Obama spent more on immigration enforcement than on all other federal law enforcement agencies combined. The nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute reported that while the FBI, Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshal Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, cost a total of $14.4 billion in fiscal 2012, immigration enforcement cost $18 billion.
But amazingly, it wasn’t until all the doors were finally shut on…
To read full article: http://www.creators.com/opinion/miguel-perez/obama-apologists-should-share-blame-for-deportations.html
Miguel Pérez is Professor and former Chair, Department of Journalism, Communication and Theatre, Lehman College of the City University of New York.  He is also a columnist for Creators Syndicate and a political analyst, Telemundo 47, New York.  Pérez, is an award-winning reporter, columnist and popular radio and television talk-show host, and has spent his 35-year career covering the issues and concerns of America’s burgeoning Latino population, and chronicling the evolution of our Hispanic heritage.