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Spending on immigration enforcement has steadily climbed since 2002 and continues to climb in President Obama’s administration. Spending for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) increased from fiscal year 2002, at almost $7.5 billion, to fiscal year 2010 over $17 billion.
Republican charges that the Obama administration is giving border security and immigration enforcement short shrift are false.
In conjunction with the fact that border security spending and personnel have also increased in recent years, the deportation numbers show that an aggressive “enforcement-only” immigration policy built during the Bush Administration is still the status quo of the Obama Administration. As a result, partisan charges on border security and demands for even more immigration enforcement as a pretext for passing comprehensive immigration reform do not ring true in light of these numbers and this reality.
The best way to secure the border is comprehensive immigration reform.
The only way to truly secure the border is to enact comprehensive reform that complements professional and accountable border enforcement with measures that turn off the jobs magnet, ensure all workers are legal, and create a realistic mechanism for future legal immigration – all in a way that rings true with the best of America’s values.
A strong majority of Americans support federal, comprehensive reform.