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Immigration Debate
Uninformed voters. They are one of three groups of people I blame for the much of the mess we're in these days. America has too many folks who are too lazy to bother reading the news or keeping up with events in the world. If they consume any broadcast summaries on TV they likely are from Fox...or listeners of rants on right-wing-nut talk radio. For example, let's take Trump's signature "build a wall" campaign slogan. The trouble with this rant is it does not align with the facts.  2.5 million people were deported from the U.S. during the Obama administration - more illegal immigrant deportees were tossed out of America over the past 8-yr than any other previous administration. (1)

Yet Donald Trump opted to ignore the facts and truth as he reiterated his pledge throughout his campaign to build a wall along the southern border and promised that Mexico would pay for construction.  Donald ignores the truth that fewer than half of America's undocumented immigrants came through the Southern border. Most of our undocumented immigrants came to the USA LEGALLY from a variety of entry points, but over-stayed their visa. Again, facts be damned, Trump was leveraging voters' hate and racist tendencies as well as the electorate's laziness and ignorance. It was far easier for some to blame others for their own failures in life and simply buy into the misconception that America was being over taken by foreigners - people were taking "their jobs" - and succumb to the scare tactics espoused on alt-right-talk radio and Fox News.  "Make America Great Again" became their slogan - never mind that the majority of Americans think the nation has always been great.

Right-wing voters also claim America has become unsafe despite evidence to the contrary.  But the fact is under the Obama administration, more illegal immigrants were deported and more border agents were employed than at any time in our nation's history. The number of border agents steadily rose from 2009 through 2016; an average of more than 20,733 agents patrolled our borders. During the 8-yrs of GWB the average was 11,849. (2)

Trump voters also ignore the legislative battle we've witnessed the past several years as the Republican controlled House refused to even bring the Senate's bi-partisan bill to the floor for debate or a vote. Yet virtually all of the GOP clown-car-of-candidates campaigned on the premise that some form of immigration reform was essential.  Hypocrites.

Recently, Robert Segal from National Public Radio offered an excellent historical summary of how America's immigration situation got to the point we're now at on NPR's All Things Considered.  You owe it to yourself to listen - the piece is just 8-minutes long, and in the summary Segal provides is a fact-based, concise roadmap.  Before you do anything else, please listen to the podcast: "How Did We Get To 11 Million Unauthorized Immigrants?" http://www.npr.org/2017/03/07/518201210/how-did-we-get-to-11-million-unauthorized-immigrants

Sources:
(1) http://www.snopes.com/obama-deported-more-people/
(2) https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2016-Oct/BP%20Staffing%20FY1992-FY2016.pdf
Photo caption & credits from the NPR website: "U.S. Border Patrolmen Steve Shields (left) and Ed Pyeatt march five people to a holding center in Texas shortly after their apprehension in the desert in 1981. Lennox McLendon/AP."

originally published
03.07.17
 
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