The lead statement of the House GOP immigration standards released last week says, "Border Security and Interior Enforcement Must Come First." While catchy, this phrase suggests that enforcement has not been taking place. The reality is that since 1996, our nation's singular immigration policy has been enforcement-first and enforcement-only. This folly of decades of enforcement-first has come at a tremendous cost – to American taxpayers who have funded it, to immigrant families torn asunder, and to all of our civil liberties.

Today the federal government spends more on immigration enforcement than on all other federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined. According to a Migration Policy Institute report released last year, the federal government spent nearly $18 billion in fiscal year 2012 on immigration enforcement – approximately 24 percent more than collective spending for the FBI, Secret Service, Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

In addition, the Homeland Security (DHS) immigration enforcement agencies -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection – refer more cases for federal prosecution than all Justice Department law enforcement agencies combined. In recent years ICE has locked up approximately 430,000 individuals per year in detention facilities – which exceeds the total number of prisoners serving sentences in federal Bureau of Prisons facilities for all other federal crimes.

President Obama has earned the title "Deporter-in-Chief." While Republicans decry the President for failing to enforce the immigration laws, this administration is about to hit the two million deportations mark – a record for an American president. Even as President Obama makes immigration reform the top legislative priority for his second term, DHS continues to deport about 1,000 people a day – including many who could qualify for legalization under the Senate-passed immigration reform bill. The DHS enforcement machinery seemingly operates on auto-pilot, wrecking untold numbers of American families and communities every day.

Whether measured by budget allocations, criminal prosecution volumes, or people deported – it is clear that the federal government, through both Democrat and Republican administrations, has pursued an enforcement-first policy. This enforcement-first and enforcement-only approach is precisely what has produced our failed immigration state – the very state that demands comprehensive reform. Poll after poll shows that the vast majority of Americans (including 69 percent of Republicans surveyed) favor a path to citizenship for immigrants if they meet certain requirements including a wait period, pay fines and back taxes, pass criminal background checks, and learn English. The time has come to abandon the folly of enforcement-first and to focus on legalizing the 11 million aspiring Americans.

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Anonymous

I wonder what the hell all YOU people would do if for the first four years of your presidency, people accused you of being a "foreigner," "immigrant" b/c your dad wasn't born here, accused you of "stealing an undeserved term in office" and made that total bulshit ass GARBAGE a central FOCUS around your presidency. While not even ONCE admitting that AT LEAST OSAMA FREAKIN' BIN LADEN WAS FOUND ON THIS ADMINISTRATION'S WATCH.
How comfortable would you REALLY feel if they could add REAL anger to the mix of STUPID shit they come up with to feel hostile about, every hour of every day that he's president?

Just b/c it means almost NOTHING to NONfamily and friends of Sep-11 victims that bin Laden's fool-ass was caught doesn't mean I feel the same way.

But I wonder how you're supposed to do ANYthing with the staggering amount of opposition that HE receives no matter WHAT he does.
I used to be a Republican until I saw THIS little display of infantile and eternally immature behavior from people I once thought were more like me than I do now.
I became so totally ashamed of being Republican after watching all THAT shit happen that I became a Republican for Barack Obama.
I'm against abortion for myself, don't like anti-death penalty legislation in some cases and was raised by a Republican family. I CAN'T call myself Liberal so I decided on Republicans for Obama, b/c that's a real group and it started in Chicago.

And now they're all talking about impeaching him ANYway. For WHAT? For deporting people? For WANTing to bomb Syria even though silly war protesters stopped that TOO? You get the feeling that these "protesters" would let the enemy take their own homes too, but never mind.
You can't go two SECONDS without someone hating him in a way that's never made any sense to me. Anger at a thing he does makes sense. The ungodly amounts of hatred that appear to be present totally escapes my ability to understand it.

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