When it Comes to Deportations, Trump Can’t Hold a Candle to Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Both the corporate media and Donald Trump, himself, want you to believe that Trump is the “worst thing ever to happen to undocumented people.” There is no question that Trump aspires to be the Great Deporter, but “Barack Obama is damn near unbeatable when it comes to kicking people out of the country. Trump is not yet even a contender.”

When it Comes to Deportations, Trump Can’t Hold a Candle to Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

“Obama’s rate of “removal” of unwanted immigrants was in the stratosphere for six of his eight years in office.”

If all you know is what you read in the newspapers and see and hear on the rest of corporate media, then you have been given the impression that, in less than 100 days, Barack Obama was dethroned as the champion deporter of unwanted immigrants in the history of the United States. Donald Trump, for his own, race-baiting reasons, would also like you to believe the misleading headlines. But it’s not true, and the actual numbers tell us that Obama will likely remain the all-time Deporter-in-Chief. Although arrests of immigrants during the first 90 days of this year increased significantly over the same period of 2016, Obama’s last year in office, they still amounted to only one-third or less of the immigrant arrests during the peak Obama years of 2011 and 2012.

Just as the New York Times methodically distorts and, objectively, falsifies its coverage of Syria and foreign affairs in general, in order to stoke the fires of war, the paper last Saturday deliberately constructed a misleading picture of Trump’s record of deportations during his first three months in office. At the top of the story, in the first paragraph, the Times tells us that immigration and customs agents arrested a little more than 41,000 people between January 22nd and April 29, compared to about 30,000 during the same period in 2016. That’s a jump from about 10,000 arrests per month in Obama’s last year, to almost 14,000 monthly detentions during Trump’s first year. But you have to read three-quarters of the article to learn that Barack Obama was arresting more than twice as many immigrants as Trump -- 29,000 a month -- back in 2011, and you’d have to do your own research to learn that Obama arrested and deported even more people than that in his peak year, 2012. At the rate that Donald Trump is going, he will have to become far more aggressive if he ever wants to even come close to Obama’s immigrant arrest and removal record.

“Barack Obama was arresting more than twice as many immigrants as Trump -- 29,000 a month -- back in 2011.”

If you are looking at my report on-line, check out the graph at the top of the page. Obama’s rate of “removal” of unwanted immigrants was in the stratosphere for six of his eight years in office, before he started thinking about cleaning up his historical “legacy” as a phony progressive and a friend of immigrants.

The New York Times gets away with its blatant distortions of facts, in this case, because Donald Trump wants folks to believe that he is worst thing ever to happen to undocumented people. Trump’s immigrant-hating constituents want to believe that Obama coddled people without papers. Trump’s operatives at Homeland Security bragged that the “statistics reflect President Trump’s commitment to enforce our immigration laws fairly and across the board.” But actually, the statistics show that Barack Obama is damn near unbeatable when it comes to kicking people out of the country, and Trump is not yet even a contender.

Obama and Trump, for their own reasons, are both deeply invested in the same lie. The people that are most disserved by that lie, are the immigrants, who are led to believe that the Democrats are their friends. Which shows that Black Agenda Report was right, back in 2012, when we described Barack Obama as the “more effective evil.” He is more effective in his evil-doing partly because he has media whores like the New York Times to whitewash his sins away.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].