Is President Obama serious about enforcing and protecting America's borders? Not likely, says an immigration reform group.
A senior government official confirms that this past weekend federal immigration agents rounded up 121 people in raids in Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina. The illegal immigrants were primarily members of Central American families that crossed into the U.S. via Mexico since May 2014. Most have been placed in family detention centers in Texas to await deportation.
Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), says the feds' rounding up of illegal aliens was nothing more than an attempt by the president to convince Americans that he's serious about border enforcement.
Mehlman says rounding up the 120-plus illegals is just a drop in the bucket considering that more than 100,000 Central Americans crossed into the U.S. during an immigration surge that began in the spring of 2014.
"A big public show of deporting 121 people out of more than a hundred thousand simply isn't going to do very much," he argues. "They knew that the reaction from the immigration advocacy groups would be Oh, this is terrible – and all the crying and screaming [that would follow]."
It was all planned to provide cover for the president, says Mehlman. "Then he can then turn to the American public and say See? I'm doing such a good job enforcing immigration law that I've got all these people upset with me – when in fact he is doing nothing at all."
According to Mehlman, overall deportations declined significantly in 2015 – proving that the Obama administration has essentially abandoned interior enforcement.
The FAIR spokesman also argues it's time that the Central American countries from which the illegal immigrants originate step up to the plate and make things better for their own citizens so they're less likely to leave. "... At some point it becomes the responsibility of the citizens of those countries to make changes there," Mehlman states.
He describes Guatemala and El Salvador as "examples of failed states" when it comes doing that. "We cannot expect that every time a government fails somewhere around the world that everybody is going to be able to come to the United States," he concludes.