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On immigration, Thomas Sowell tip-toes around the truth

October 5, 2012 - Mike Maneval
A recent column by Thomas Sowell, published in the Sun-Gazette on Thursday, brushed against the issue of immigration and how the Obama administration has handled it. But the column is far more noteworthy for what it didn't acknowledge and what it said shouldn't be argued than what it acknowledged or argued.

Nowhere in the column did Sowell acknowledge that deportations of illegal immigrants happen with greater frequency under President Barack Obama than under either President George W. Bush or President Bill Clinton. The Obama administration also has correctly prioritized the deportation of illegal immigrants who've violated other laws and who pose greater risks to the safety and well-being of Americans. The policy has seen considerable success, as illegal immigration has fallen to an unprecedented low - down in two years by about 216,000 annually, according to

The column also first attempts to describe this summer's relief for immigrants brought to our country by their parents as "certain classes of illegal immigrants," before acknowledging the nature of their presence in the U.S. by claiming that "too many people have gotten sucked into a discussion of whether it is a good thing or a bad thing for people brought into the country as children" to not be prosecuted for their parents' transgressions.

Sowell is wrong. There can never be too many people debating the morals and ethics of punishing young children for deciding not to run away from their families or to incriminate them for trying to provide those very same children with a better life. As I said on this blog in defending the president's executive order in June, "putting 11-year-olds and 12-year-olds in such a position is not justice, no matter how compliant it is with U.S. law."

Sowell can twist and contort over the alleged threat the executive order - a practice dating back to the presidency of George Washington - to consitutional governance all he wants, but a case that neglects the successes of the Obama presidency in deporting illegal immigrants and belittles concern for whether U.S. immigration law hinders justice is an embarrassingly weak case.


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