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Obama increases prosecutions of illegal immigrants while decreasing prosecution of other crimes

Author: Patrick Osio
Created: 19 February, 2010
Updated: 13 September, 2023
3 min read

 Let’s play a Lou Dobbs type of poll:

“Are you in favor of prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law any illegal alien who crosses the border even those who are entering for the first time and have no past criminal record?”

If yes, the Obama administration is in full agreement with you. Thus far during the fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) the Obama administration has prosecuted 67,994 and is in pace to prosecute 90,659 by fiscal year end representing a 14.1 percent increase over the 79,431 prosecuted in fiscal 2008-2009.

Now for the next poll:

“Are you in favor of prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law human smugglers, how about bringing in and harboring certain aliens, or those making false statement in application and use of passport; fraud and related activity such as id documents; fraud and misuse of visas, permits?”

And yet another poll:

“Are you in favor of prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law drug smugglers, arm smugglers, illicit drug crimes (distribution), organized crime, and public corruption crimes?”

If yes, the Obama administration doesn’t see it your way.  Prosecution for these more serious crimes than crossing the border in search of work are not even close to the number of prosecutions and in fact prosecutions have dropped.

Something is dramatically wrong here. In the past prosecution of non violent illegal immigrants who entered in search of work, were simply processed and deported. Federal authorities dedicated more energy and prosecution of those whose crimes were more serious or violent. Now it is reversed as fully 54 percent of all Federal prosecutions are for immigrants caught

Look at the contrast: Thus far this fiscal year 67,994 have been prosecuted for non violent improperly entering the United States, but only 2,980 prosecutions for bringing in and harboring illegal immigrants and 106 prosecutions for aiding and abetting an illegal entry. And only 13 employers in 8 cases were prosecuted in 2009 for employing unauthorized workers.

It doesn’t end there – drug prosecutions are right around 16 percent of the total number of Federal prosecutions down from 37 percent at the height of the war against drugs in 1997. One can only assume the war has been largely won and trafficking, distribution and usage is almost non existent today.

And then there are the “white collar” crimes that between 2003 and 2008 have seen prosecutions fall by 18 percent, weapons prosecutions by 19 percent, organized crime prosecutions by 20 percent, public corruption by 14 percent and drug prosecutions by 20 percent.

It is not difficult to understand that while President Bush was in office and the extreme right of the Republican Party was bellowing anti immigrant rants on an almost daily basis, predicting the destruction of the nation that prosecutions of illegal immigrant job seekers would take a priority if for no other reasons than to placate the party extremists, along with the television, radio and print commentators. But what is Obama’s reason for continuing this farce?

Part of the reason why prosecutions of other far more serious crimes that do put into jeopardy the nation is simply that federal prosecutors are having to spend more time, money and energy on prosecuting these non violent illegal immigrants and thus not able to allocate time, energy and human and economic resources to prosecute other crimes.

So here is the ultimate question:  “Are we as a nation safer prosecuting non-violent first time illegal immigrant border crossers instead of drug and human smugglers and traffickers, gun smugglers, employers of illegal immigrants, organized crime members, corrupt officials?”

Well Mr. Obama, what do you think the answer will be?

Patrick Osio is the Editor of and Vice President of the Baja California Medical Tourism Association. Contact at