The Pew Hispanic Center report attributes the drop of inflow and unauthorized immigrants living in the United States to a corresponding decline in the economy and increased enforcement of immigration laws. When compared to the years of GOP control of the White House and both chambers of Congress (2001 to 2007) where illegal immigration increased every year, Democratic control of the Executive and Legislative branches of government shows a reversal of that trend.
Sensing a growing tide of opposition to Democratic control, Republicans continue to beat the drum of illegal immigration as one of their signature wedge issues heading into the final two months of the 2010 Mid-Term elections. This despite the most recent evidence in the Pew Hispanic Center's September 1, 2010 report and data collected by ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) showing under Democratic control, enforcement of current immigration laws have increased significantly and deportations are way up.
The focus of the Obama Administration's illegal immigration law enforcement efforts has been on those that have felony or misdemeanor convictions, non-compliance with deportation orders, and audits of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers. But this doesn't seem to matter to Republicans, despite the contradictory data and evidence.
In Town Hall meetings around Virginia's 6th Congressional District, sponsored by Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Roanoke), outdated or inaccurate information continues to be used to underscore the GOP's position to illegal immigration. Here is part of my interview with Congressman Goodlatte regarding immigration:
According to a July 26, 2010 article by Washington Post Staff Writer, Peter Slevin,
The Obama administration has been moving away from using work-site 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.By Congressman Goodlatte's own admission, he didn't know what the penalty was but he thinks its significant. When $6.4 million in fines is divided by the 2,875 companies the Obama Administration has audited, it comes out to $2,226.09 per company. By any standard, a $2,200 penalty for domestic companies and businesses breaking U.S. Immigration Law, for knowingly hiring illegal workers is comparable to a slap on the wrist. At this point, the benefits to hiring someone who is not eligible to work in this country outweigh the costs. Also, no indication if any of these employers have gone to jail for breaking the law?
So the question becomes are Republicans, like Congressman Goodlatte, intentionally misleading voters and their constituents with inaccurate information on illegal immigration for the sole purpose of regaining control of congress after November 2nd or are their Congressional Staffs really that bad at getting updated information from Homeland Security and ICE? In some places, they refer to spreading misinformation as lying. But in our country today, its called POLITICS.
Links relating to this post:
Center for Investigative Reporting Blog
Homeland Security Newswire
ICE Removal Statistics
Fines/Penalties for hiring illegal workers