When it comes to immigration and Donald Trump, Democrats have very selective memory about their party’s own record of deportations.
We’ve all heard the hyperbolic gnashing of teeth Democrats have aimed at Donald Trump over his immigration policies.
However, when it comes to the actual deportation of illegal immigrants, former President Barack Obama can still be considered the “Deporter in Chief.”
According to data cited by the New York Times, “the high-water mark for deportations came in 2000 under President Bill Clinton, when more than 1,860,000 people left through a combination of removal and return.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, “removals are the compulsory and confirmed movement of an inadmissible or deportable alien out of the United States based on an order of removal.”
“Returns,” on the other hand, “are the confirmed movement of an inadmissible or deportable alien out of the United States not based on an order of removal.”
When it comes to compulsory removal, which, as the Times notes, “often means uprooting longtime residents who may have families and own property or businesses, and who are then barred from returning to the United States for a period of years,” Barack Obama still holds the record.
“The peak number of compulsory removals came during Mr. Obama’s watch in 2013,” according to the Times, “when more than 432,000 people were removed.”
Based on the data (in full here), despite all of the anti-Trump rhetoric, when it comes to deportations of Barack Obama still holds the record for those “removed.”
While the data only has Trump’s first year in office (2017), Barack Obama still had a higher yearly average (383,307 removals) than Trump did in 2017 (295,364) and much higher than George W. Bush (251,567).
Last week, Democrats and the media were in a frenzy about Donald Trump’s announcement that ICE would begin removing immigrants with deportation orders.
However, Trump’s actions are no different than that of the Obama administration, as evidenced in this 2016 Politico piece:
The Obama administration confirmed Monday that it began a new wave of arrests of Central American immigrant families over the weekend, moving forward with deportations of mothers and children despite an outcry from immigrant rights groups and potential political fallout for Democrats.
“Since President Obama assumed office, he has deported more than 2 million human beings — husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters,” complained the Huffington Post in 2014.
During the three years from the time Huffington Post published its article in 2014, until the time he left office in January 2017, there were more than a million additional “compulsory removals” under the Obama administration.
During the course of his administration, Obama deported 2.5 million undocumented immigrants—which earned him the titled of “Deporter in Chief.”