Liberal and conservative pundits agree: the executive actions President Obama announced last week will encourage more illegal immigration. The President is granting work permits to millions in the country illegally and discouraging enforcement against future unlawful aliens who make it into the interior of the country (either by overstaying a visa or successfully eluding capture at the border), so long as they are part of a family or are seeking illegal work to support a family -- categories that are so broad that enforcement becomes the exception, not the rule.
So the Administration must have been very pleased to see this tucked into Politico's story from November 20, 2014:
Some news reports mistakenly suggested that the parents [involved in the surge of smuggled children at the border] were responding to Obama’s promises of leniency; and as the numbers of children grew, even some previously supportive Democrats began getting cold feet about Obama’s plans to loosen immigration rules at a time when they feared it could send still more migrants flooding to the border.
Mistakenly? Politico may be referring to a common misperception in Central America that the U.S. is handing out "permisos" that grant official permission to stay in the U.S. That isn't true. The "permisos" are notices to appear before an immigration judge. But the idea behind the "permisos" myth is very much true. If you make it to the interior of the United States and don't get caught committing an atrocious crime, your chances of being required to comply with U.S. immigration laws "are close to zero" as the former acting director of Immigration and Customs enforcement told the Los Angeles Times.
Politico's suggestion that the Administration's changes to immigration enforcement haven't encouraged future illegal immigration is at odds with most mainstream reporting Bucking the MSM's conventional wisdom on immigration is often a safe bet, but not in this case. The evidence connecting weak interior enforcement incentivizing illegal immigration continues to mount.
Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2014:
[I]mmigrants living illegally in most of the continental U.S. are less likely to be deported today than before Obama came to office, according to immigration data.
USA Today, April 15, 2014:
[T]he fact is this: The number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. deported by the Obama administration has fallen in each year he's been in office.
Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2014:
ICE officials said they couldn't guarantee that they would pursue all cases in which immigrants do not show up for follow-up appointments, but would examine each case to determine priorities.
Washington Post, June 13, 2014:
"After engaging with the children and U.S. personnel, my staff learned that many of the children were smuggled across the border after hearing radio ads promising they would not be deported," Feinstein said. "My staff also heard that religious organizations are spreading the same message."
New York Times, June 16, 2014:
Migrants here said they planned to attend their court hearings and fight for a chance to stay. But officials have no specific plan to monitor compliance, and based on the pace of the overburdened immigration courts, it seems highly unlikely that any of the migrants would be deported soon.
Los Angeles Times, July 5, 2014:
President Obama and his aides have repeatedly sought to dispel the rumors driving thousands of children and teens from Central America to cross the U.S. border each month with the expectation they will be given a permiso and allowed to stay.
But under the Obama administration, those reports have proved increasingly true.
Washington Post, September 7, 2014:
President Obama has said that most of them will be sent back, but so far his administration has said that he has deported almost none.
Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2014:
Thousands of children from Central America are undertaking a perilous journey to the U.S. border despite warnings from the U.S. that they will be sent back. In fact, many will get to stay.
Associated Press, July 21, 2014:
The smugglers are profiting from the rising violence in gang-ridden cities of Central America, and the yearning of families to be reunited; parents often head north to find work and save money to send for their children, sometimes years later.
Many of the children and teenagers who travelled to the United States recently said they did so after hearing they would be allowed to stay. The U.S. generally releases unaccompanied children to parents, relatives or family friends while their cases take years to wend through overwhelmed immigration courts.
Washington Examiner, August 21, 2014:
Juan praised Obama for implementing a federal policy in a manner that prevented unaccompanied minors from Central America from being deported immediately and requires they receive a court hearing. Juan called it a new 'business model.'
"Obama has helped us with the children because they're able to stay in the United States. That's the reason why so many children are coming," he said. "The children are able to stay, and that's what interests us," he said.
Associated Press, September 11, 2014:
The removal figures, contained in weekly internal reports marked "Official Use Only," reflect the marked decline in deportations even as Obama has delayed announcing what changes he will make to U.S. immigration policies.
JEREMY BECK is the Director of the Media Standards Program for NumbersUSA
Updated: Mon, Dec 8th 2014 @ 1:20pm EST