Mainstream Media Finally Reporting the Truth about “Deceptive” Deportation Claims

The Los Angeles Times ran one of the most important non-news stories of the year in the April 2 edition. “Higher deportation figures are misleading,” read the headline.

That may be news to readers of the L.A. Times and other consumers of mainstream media, where every report about immigration includes the obligatory mention that President Obama has been deporting people at a record clip and that his administration is approaching the 2 million mark for its five and half years in office.

But what may be news to the L.A. Times isn’t exactly news. President Obama spilled the beans on the deception almost three years ago. Speaking to a group of Hispanic journalists in 2011, the president told them, “The statistics are actually a little deceptive… 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.” Mr. Obama’s remarks were reported by major news outlets back then, but apparently few reporters have taken the trouble to run a simple Google search before repeating the president is the “deporter-in-chief” canard.

They don’t even have to dig all the way back to 2011 to confirm that the deportation claims are being hyped. Just last month, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson admitted that the statistics don’t tell the real story in testimony on Capitol Hill. Asked by Rep. John Culberson to confirm whether it is true that, “Under the Obama administration, more than half of those removals that were attributed to ICE are actually a result of Border Patrol arrests that wouldn’t have been counted in prior administrations,” Johnson’s response was, “Correct.”

What has been going on here is some carefully orchestrated winking and nodding between the White House and the illegal alien advocacy groups, with the non-questioning media playing a supporting role.

In order for the Obama administration, and many in Congress, to justify the massive amnesty and immigration increases they are pushing, they recognize that they have to convince the American public that they’ve got illegal immigration under control. There are two ways of achieving that end: They can actually enforce the laws and secure our borders (which they don’t want to do), or they can just tell us over and over again that they’re enforcing the law, and that illegal immigration has virtually ceased under their watch – which is what they have been doing.

So here’s how it’s playing out: The amnesty advocates yell and scream, hold demonstrations and hunger strikes, and charge the president with ruthlessly breaking up families and other dastardly deeds. The president then turns around and points to this street theater as evidence that he is enforcing the heck out of the law, and that it is either time for Congress to pass amnesty, or for him to declare a de facto moratorium on deportations in the name of being more humane (which is already in the works).

To add credibility to the whole charade, the media, which are largely supportive of the amnesty effort, have been lazy (at best), or willing accomplices (at worst) to the deception. The news in the L.A. Times isn’t so much that the deportation statistics are misleading, but rather that a major news organization has finally decided to report the truth.


About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


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  3. avatar

    I think the best explanation about any figures presented by almost any politician is that “figures lie and liars figure.”

  4. avatar
    Nancy Cuddeback on

    Just more evidence that our government has no intention of ever enforcing our immigration laws. And they will say and do anything, including not enforcing the laws already on the books. Hopefully, the American public will rally and hold these politicians accountable for their lies.

  5. avatar

    It’s easy. I was taught in Statistics class that depending on what you say, and how you say the same set of figures can be made to support just about anything you want.

    This isn’t the only figures he has manipulated – he reduced Unemployment by declarin large numbers of jobless people no longer counted as unemployed. Instant reduction.

  6. avatar
    Richard Dennis on

    That is not only lie and how about the number of Illegals in this country??? They say it 12 million (they knew of) that is not true it is more like 30 million + (growing every day with no border security) and NO AMENSTY OR ANY FORM OG IT. Stop spending millions supporting them and spend it on AMERICANS.

  7. avatar

    How could such a basic set of facts be misrepresented for so long? Unless the media was willingly going along.

    • avatar

      They are. Neither the government nor the media will tell you how much this is all costing you – like it is a great big secret. Those stuck with the bill are local County and State property owners who are billed for welfare, healhcare and education buried into your local county property assessment. The Feds pay for nothing except for Food Stamps authorized by Bush when that bill grew from $27 billion to $43 billion per year.

      Here is the danger. In 1970, the World’s population stood at about 4 Billion. Today, it is nearing 8 Billion, almost double in less than one lifetime. The population explosion has occurred in areas which can least afford it – the Third World. Economic refugees want food but have no money to buy and nothing to trade so they will take it and if you get in their way they will kill you. If they can’t have it, neither can you and they will destroy and burn it all. Ancient Rome repeats.

  8. avatar

    I’ve Come to the Conclusion a Long Time Ago

    Just because its on the news, doesn’t make it true. On the other hand, most blog comments all screming against the anomalous MSM article, is FAR more newsworthy.