A report released this week says that the U.S. government spends more on immigration enforcement than all other federal law enforcement combined. That should help silence Republican lawmakers who have steadfastly insisted that the Obama administration is doing too little to combat illegal immigration.
Not only has the administration made enforcement the focus of its immigration policy, spending $18 billion last year and deporting more immigrants than any previous administration, but the number of people detained by federal officials nearly doubled from about 200,000 per year in 2001 to close to 400,000 in 2011, according to the study by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan Washington-based think tank.
The report will not convince all of the administration's critics, many of whom won't be satisfied until the border is hermetically sealed. These are the critics who support the noxious anti-immigrant laws passed in Arizona and some other states, and who continue to ignore facts and insist that it is the White House itself that is undermining enforcement efforts. In reality, the number of agents assigned to patrol the border has nearly doubled over the last seven years, even as the number of immigrants attempting to enter the United States illegally appears to be at a near 40-year low.