Following the Obama administration's decision to postpone the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants in order to prioritize "convicted felons" and "public safety threats," right-wing media have reacted by resorting to fearmongering, inflammatory rhetoric, and falsehoods.
Obama Administration Prioritizes Deportation Of "Convicted Felons" And "Public Safety Threats"
LA Times: Obama Administration To Prioritize "Deportation Efforts On Convicted Felons And Other 'Public Safety Threats.' " An August 19 Los Angeles Times article reported:
The Obama administration said it will review the cases of 300,000 illegal immigrants currently in deportation proceedings to identify "low-priority" offenders -- including the elderly, crime victims and people who have lived in the U.S. since childhood -- with an eye toward allowing them to stay.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the review as the Obama administration has sought to counter criticism that it has been too harsh in its deportation policies. By launching the case-by-case review, officials said they are refocusing deportation efforts on convicted felons and other "public safety threats." [The Los Angeles Times, 8/19/11]
Right-Wing Media React To New Immigration Policy With Fearmongering, Inflammatory Rhetoric
Wash. Times' Miller: Obama Might As Well Stand At The Border With A Sign Saying, 'Come On In. Do Whatever You Want, Just Don't Get Caught.' " In an August 23 column titled, "Obama's immigration shake-up, White House grants amnesty to anyone but convicted felons," Washington Times senior editor Emily Miller wrote:
President Obama is using his executive authority to grant backdoor amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the administration's immigration-enforcement efforts would ignore "low-priority cases." That means most criminal aliens can stay, and only convicted felons will get the boot.
This new case-by-case-basis interpretation of immigration laws will give illegals a work permit to stick around in the United States, taking jobs away from the 9.1 percent of Americans looking for work. Congressional Democrats, who couldn't get their laissez-faire immigration bill passed last year, applauded the White House move.
The president shouldn't be allowed to loosen immigration laws in order to boost his standing among Hispanic voters for his re-election campaign. His new policies are far to the left of the American public.
Mr. Obama might as well stand at the border with a sign saying, "Come on in. Do whatever you want, just don't get caught." [The Washington Times, 8/23/11]
Wash. Times' Hurt Fearmongers: "Illegals Who Had Been Headed For Deportation Will Manage To Sneak In A Few Votes. Maybe Even Enough To Swing The Election." In his August 23 Washington Times column, Charles Hurt claimed that "you can bet some of these illegals who had been headed for deportation will manage to sneak in a few votes. Maybe even enough to swing the election." Hurt further compared Obama to a "dictator currying favor by releasing political prisoners just before an 'election.' " From the Times:
The surest sign yet that President Obama will cashier his "hope" and "change" gimmicks from the last campaign in favor of a switchblade and brass knuckles for the next one was the stunning landmark decision he quietly made last week before hightailing it up to Martha's Vineyard for a trip to Luxuryville.
Like a dictator currying favor by releasing political prisoners just before an "election," Mr. Obama decided to reject the repeatedly expressed wishes of Congress and halt deportations of illegal immigrants.
[W]ith all the skeezy Election Day tactics we see with same-day registration and a refusal to require voters to actually prove they are legal residents who should be voting in the election, you can bet some of these illegals who had been headed for deportation will manage to sneak in a few votes.
Maybe even enough to swing the election. [The Washington Times, 8/23/11, via Media Matters]
Fox & Friends Hosts Hate Group Leader To Call Immigration Policy A "Sham... To Get Ethnic Votes." During the August 20 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Saturday, guest Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), stated that the Obama administration's immigration policy was set into motion "for partisan political reasons. They have politicized our immigration policy in ways never before seen in American history for the sham, basically, of trying to get ethnic votes." FAIR has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-immigrant hate group. [Fox News, Fox & Friends Saturday, 8/20/11, via Media Matters; Media Matters, 8/8/11]
Bolling: Obama "Created Jobs For Several Hundred Thousand Illegal Immigrants By Instructing" ICE "To Look The Other Way." On the August 23 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Eric Bolling claimed Obama "created jobs for several hundred thousand illegal immigrants by instructing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to look the other way with arrested illegals." [Fox News, The Five, 8/23/11]
Bolling Dismisses Impact Of Breaking Up Families By Deportation: "They're Illegals." On the August 19 edition of Fox News' The Five, Bolling dismissed the impact of "break[ing] up a family" by responding, "[T]hey're illegals." From The Five:
BOB BECKEL (co-host): Listen -- Barack Obama's administration has deported more illegal immigrants than all other administrations in history combined; one. Two, in the course of that aggressive action, they have picked up people who are not supposed to be deported. For example, children who were born in this country. Whether you like that or not, you have to change the Constitution. The other thing is --
BOLLING: That's not part of this, though. That one isn't part of it.
BECKEL: Yes it is.
BOLLING: No, no. It's the parents of the children.
BECKEL: Well what are you going to do, break up a family?
BOLLING: It's -- it's -- they're illegals. [Fox News, The Five, 8/19/11, via Media Matters]
Right-Wing Media Suggest Obama Could Be "Impeached" And Claim He Is "Abus[ing] His Executive Powers"
Fox's "Straight News" Anchor Suggests Obama Could Be "Impeached" For "Saying That He's Not Going To Deport Noncriminal Illegals." On the August 19 edition of Fox News' Studio B, guest host Gregg Jarrett claimed Obama is "now saying that he's not going to deport noncriminal illegals" and later noted that " there was another president, Andrew Johnson, who was impeached for a very similar reason." From Studio B:
JARRETT: The current law states that if you're here illegally, you must be deported. But the president, of course, now saying that he's not going to deport non-criminal illegals. Question is, can he do that? And for the answer, let's begin with the Constitution. We'll put it up on the screen. Here it is, Article 2, Section 3: "The president shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Now you'll notice that's not discretionary. It's mandatory. Isn't the president duty-bound by the Constitution to enforce the laws duly enacted by Congress?
You know, Anna Sigga, there was another president, Andrew Johnson, who was impeached for a very similar reason. He refused to enforce the Tenure in Office Act and he was accused of high crimes and misdemeanors, usurping the authority of Congress. And even this president has admitted that he didn't have the authority to do this, because here is what he said about a month ago. Let's put it up on the screen. He said this to the National Council at La Raza: "I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. But that is not how our system works." What do you think? [Fox News, Studio B, 8/19/11, via Media Matters]
Malkin: Obama's "Deportation Wavers" "Abuse His Executive Powers To Override The Will Of The People." In an August 22 post on her blog, Michelle Malkin wrote:
The Obama Department of Homeland Security late last week announced it would enforce the DREAM Act illegal alien student bailout by administrative order -- call them White House deportation waivers -- over the heads of a bipartisan majority of Congress that has repeatedly and resoundingly rejected such proposals.
The question for 2012 GOP primary voters: Is there a candidate out there who you trust to stand on the side of secure borders and strict enforcement, who has consistently opposed DREAM Act illegal alien bailouts, and who will resist the urge to use and abuse his executive powers to override the will of the people? [MichelleMalkin.com, 8/22/11]
Steyn: Obama "Issued An Imperial Decree" That He's "Not Going To Be Enforcing American Immigration Law." During the August 22 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, guest host Mark Steyn said:
STEYN: Obama has just basically issued his own one-man amnesty. He decided -- he's decided to effectively change the rules on immigration enforcement just off the top of his head. It's easier than getting it through Congress or whatever. It's basically rule by executive decree. His majesty has issued a royal proclamation which, let's face it, is a lot easier than spend-- wasting your time negotiating with John Boehner and a bunch of those crazies over in the tea party Congress. So, instead, he's just issued an imperial decree that he's henceforth not going to be enforcing American immigration law. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/22/11, via Media Matters]
Right-Wing Media Falsely Claim New Policy "Cancel[s]" Or "Ends" Deportation"
Fox Nation: "Obama Cancels Deportations." From an August 18 post on Fox Nation:
[Fox Nation, 8/18/11]
Drudge Report: "OBAMA CANCELS DEPORTATIONS OF ILLEGALS" And "Dems Declare 'Victory.' " From the August 19 archive of the Drudge Report:
[Drudge Report, accessed 8/19/11]
Ace of Spades: "Oh Boy: Obama Orders End To Deportation Of Illegal Aliens." From an August 18 Ace of Spades HQ post titled, "Oh Boy: Obama Orders End to Deportation of Illegal Aliens":
Except those guilty of violent crimes.
I remember Schoolyard Rock telling me that the Congress was needed for such changes in the law. How they lied, and lied. [Ace of Spades, 8/18/11]
Hoft: "Lawless Obama Administration Halts Deportations Of Illegal Aliens." In an August 18 post titled, "Lawless Obama Administration Halts Deportation of Illegal Aliens," Jim Hoft wrote on his blog Gateway Pundit:
It's an Obama world.
No morals. No money. No rules. No borders.
The Obama Administration will halt the deportation proceedings of illegal aliens on a case-by-case basis. [Gateway Pundit, 8/18/11, emphasis in original]
For the truth on the administration's policy, SEE HERE.