There is a saying that, “Figures don’t lie but liars can figure!”
Statistics are often used to as a metric to establish the
effectiveness of a program. Statistics can provide an appearance of
total objectivity and being fact-based when nothing could be further
from the truth!
Of course statistics can be extremely useful to determine if a
program is working effectively, but the problem is that there are many
artful ways that statistics can mask reality. If a student was having a
problem with a class and to the consternation of his parents, was
receiving failing grades in the exams he took in that class he might
want to provide an overly optimistic impression of his progress. Let’s
say he had received a grade of 30% on an exam and his parents, in
reaction were appropriately upset. He could be completely honest if he
was to tell them that he had done twice as well on the subsequent test
and hope that they would not do the math and realize that he had still
gotten a failing grade (60%)!
Clearly the administration and just about all politicians understand
that their constituents are truly upset with the continuing failures of
our nation to enforce the immigration laws and secure our nation’s
borders. Politicians who are desperate to create an immigration
travesty known as “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” have taken to the
tactic of saying that before we can have “Comprehensive Immigration
Reform” our nation must first secure its borders. (I have written many
commentaries on why Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) should never
be implemented as a blanket program and why there are so many other
metrics that should be considered when determining whether or not our
laws are really being enforced.) The politicians who want a massive
amnesty program know that proving the “borders are secure” cannot be
shown by direct evidence only by inference. They make the argument that
if arrests by the Border Patrol are lower, that this should be viewed as
evidence that fewer aliens are running our borders and hence our
borders are more secure.
Of course, if the Border Patrol is ordered to protect portions of the
border, especially those portions where aliens are not likely to
attempt to run the border, and agents leave other areas wide open, the
number of arrests will drop while more aliens will continue to flood
across the border.
If Border Patrol agents are disciplined for various and sundry
reasons and even criminally prosecuted for minor infractions or even
fabricated infractions, when they do their jobs, their colleagues will
quickly come to understand that their jobs are hazardous- not only
because they may be injured or killed by the bad guys they are trying to
arrest but by their own agency that places them in harm’s way when they
go on duty each day.
Please do not for a moment misunderstand what I am saying. Any law
enforcement officer will tell you that the badge they are given when
they are sworn in not only provides them with the authority to do their
sworn duties but to be accountable as well. Law enforcement officers
must be made accountable for their actions, but they must also be able
to trust that they will be treated fairly and supported by the agencies
that they work for.
When I was an INS Special Agent, we used to have a saying, “Big
cases- big problems, little cases- little problems; no cases- no
Every time a law enforcement officer takes official action he (she)
runs the risk of being physically injured by the criminals they
encounter or attempt to arrest or of being falsely accused of doing
something wrong by those same individuals. Depending on how the agency
they work for deals with allegations of wrongdoing and depending on the
goal of the leadership of the law enforcement agency and the politicians
who ultimately control those agencies, allegations of wrongdoing may be
summarily dismissed or may result in the law enforcement officer being
arrested and prosecuted simply to satisfy the whims of the political
hierarchy. Clearly it is not only fashionable but politically
expedient, for allegations against those charged with securing our
nation’s borders to be hammered at every opportunity to discourage these
beleaguered agents from doing their jobs! Remember, if arrests are
down, the argument can be made that the borders are more secure, just as
Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of DHS (Department of Homeland
Surrender) has repeatedly claimed in a succession of public appearances.
Most recently a U.S.
Border Patrol agent by the name of Jesus E. Diaz, Jr. was arrested,
successfully prosecuted and sentenced to serve a two year prison
sentence for purportedly using excessive force against an illegal
alien drug smuggler who was 15 years old, even though there was no
physical evidence to substantiate that any actions taken by Agent Diaz
were inappropriate, let alone criminal, in nature!
While it is politically expedient to show fewer arrests along our
nation’s southern border to “prove” the border is “secure,” the illusion
that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is effectively doing its
job requires that statistics be provided that removals of illegal
aliens have increased.
Of course the use of the term “Removal” rather than “Deportation” is extremely important.
Today the DHS does not even use the term deportation. Any alien who
is expelled from the United States is considered to have been removed.
This is an important point because an alien who has been formally
ordered to leave the United States would have been declared to have been
“deported” under the previously accepted nomenclature. There is total
clarity with this use of language.
Aliens who are provided with the option of agreeing to voluntarily depart the United States are not formally deported.
This is more than a mere legal or linguistic technicality. An alien
who has been sent out of the United States after being ordered deported
from the United States by an Immigration Judge commits a felony by
unlawfully reentering the United States without first securing the
authority of the appropriate government agency in seeking to return to
the United States. For an alien who has no criminal convictions, such
an unlawful reentry carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in custody. An
alien who has been convicted of certain crimes and felonies and then
unlawfully reenters the United States without authority faces a maximum
of 20 years in prison.
An alien who agrees to depart the United States, generally at his
(her) own expense, and then unlawfully reenters the United States is not
committing a felony by reentering illegally but will be subject to
removal as an illegal alien.
Clearly it is far easier to have an alien agree to depart from the
United States voluntarily but there is a world of difference between
these two scenarios.
The administration is obviously determined to create misleading
illusions to convince the citizens of our nation that they are meeting
Lamar Smith, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has called
the administration out on the issue of the statistics provided about
the “removal” of aliens from our nation—making it clear that this
administration cannot be trusted to carry out its responsibilities to
actually secure our nation’s borders and actually enforce the
immigration laws that are supposed to protect our nation and our
citizens from the presence of aliens who are harmful to the safety,
security and wellbeing of our nation.
This administration is certainly not unique in using these tactics,
but has made the most concerted effort in memory to obfuscate these
Here is a link to a news report about the deceptive use of statistics
where the removal of illegal aliens from the United States is
Perhaps the time has come for the citizens of our nation to elect
someone like David Copperfield for President! Then, at least, we will
have a professional illusionist in the Oval Office!