In the eyes of many, President Obama has been soft on immigration. Indeed, in his eight years in office, roughly 2.5 million illegal immigrants have crossed the border. Some of these immigrants have crossed the southern border illegally, while many have also overstayed their visas. But Obama is claiming a narrative of being quite strong against immigration, claiming they have deported nearly 2.4 million illegals during his term in office. Others have latched on calling him the Deporter-in-Chiief.
Obama was dubbed the “Deporter-in-Chief” in 2014 by Janet Murguía, president of the National Council of La Raza, an immigrant advocacy group.
“For the president, I think his legacy is at stake here,” Murguía told Politico in March 2014. “We consider him the deportation president, or the deporter-in-chief.”
But Obama himself explained how his numbers on deportation have been so high.
“The statistics are actually a little deceptive because what we’ve been doing is, with the stronger border enforcement, we’ve been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation, even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours, sent back — that’s counted as a deportation.”
The math is fuzzy on whether Obama is actually a strong proponent of deportation, or if he is using a verbal loophole to boost his numbers. Which is why Obama’s announcement for a 1995 Cuban immigration policy seems out of character for the President but in step with the rule of law.
“The Department of Homeland Security is ending the so-called ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy, which was put in place more than twenty years ago and was designed for a different era,” Mr. Obama said in a statement on Thursday. He said the U.S. was taking important steps to normalize relations with the communist nation and to bring greater consistency to its immigration policy.
The “wet foot, dry foot” immigration policy was implemented in 1995 under President Bill Clinton. It allowed Cubans caught escaping Cuba to become citizens within a year, as the United States did not want to send refugees back to Communist Cuba.
But now the policy is scrapped, effective immediately. Cuban migrants will immediately get deported to Cuba, unless they can effectively prove they are targets of persecution.
This shift in policy is actually more aligned with Donald Trump’s tough immigration policies, which include closing the border and deporting illegals.