Wrong Again, Ed Schultz - Deportations Haven't Risen 'Fivefold' Under Obama

It takes a special brand of chutzpah, even by the fluid non-standards of the left, for a man to begin every hour of his radio show with a promo touting it as the place "where truth and common sense rule" -- when he has no intention of adhering to that lofty standard.

Liberal loose-cannon Ed Schultz does this with alarming regularity, as has been well documented at NewsBusters and elsewhere over the years. He did it again on his radio show Friday with a claim that was patently, demonstrably and absurdly bogus. In other words, just another day in the studio for Schultz. (Audio after the jump)

It came while he was talking with Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., about House Speaker John Boehner signaling that he has no intention of pushing an immigration reform bill. As to be expected, this did not go over well with Schultz or Sanchez (audio) --

SCHULTZ: Boehner says, quote, the president is going to have to rebuild the trust so that the American people and my colleagues can trust him to enforce the law the way it was written. They're back to the age-old argument of, well, immigration laws haven't been enforced and that's why we're not going to do anything on immigration. What law is he talking about? We have had fourfold technology, resources and funding and fences on the border, plus the deportation of those who don't belong in America because they're here illegally, in fact, the deportation rate by the Obama administration has been fivefold over what the Bush administration was doing. What's he talking about when he says the laws aren't being enforced?

SANCHEZ: It's once again excuses. It's not reality.

And no, Sanchez wasn't referring to Schultz's dubious claims, which she made no effort to correct. So much better for the credulous liberals listening to repeat them ad infinitum.

You'd think Schultz's self-proclaimed devotion to "common sense" would kick in when it comes to this issue in particular. Any president who has made it a priority to legalize illegal immigrants is not going to round them up en masse for deportation. I'm reminded of that suspicious claim back in the '80s alleging one million-plus abducted children in the US every year. A provocative analysis in the February 1987 issue of Harper's Magazine, titled "Lost Innocents. The Myth of Missing Children," showed that nearly all were runaways or parental abductions; roughly one percent were abductions by strangers, parents' worse fear when their child is nowhere to be found.

So what are the figures for deportations under Obama compared to Bush? At the current rate, deportations during Obama's presidency will exceed those under Bush at some point this spring, five years into Obama's tenure in office versus eight years for Bush. Schultz could have accurately said that Obama will almost certainly deport more illegals than Bush. Instead, given his tendency toward blowhardism, Schultz tossed out a wildly innacurate claim.

Then there is the issue of what constitutes a deportation under Obama. Not surprisingly, this has changed, rendering an apples-to-apples comparison difficult -- as a person allegedly inclined toward "truth" and "common sense" would quickly point out.

As Mark Krikorian pointed out at NRO in a September 2012 post titled "It Depends on What the Meaning of 'Deportations' is," the Obama administration has predictably changed how deportations are defined for starkly political purposes --

... as Representative (Lamar) Smith (House Judiciary chairman) has determined, the administration as started counting certain "returns" as "removals" in order to artificially inflate the numbers and create a "record number" of deportations. Specifically, those illegals caught by the Border Patrol who are shuttled to a different town along the border before they're returned are being dishonestly counted as deportations. The point of this Alien Transfer Exit Program (ATEP) is to disrupt smuggling networks and make it harder to just keep crossing until you get through. But they're still just returns, without any "administrative or criminal consequences placed on subsequent reentry." This has falsely increased of the number of total removals by more than 100,000 in the past two years. Smith noted, "When the numbers from this Border Patrol program are removed from this year's deportation data, it shows that removals are actually down 20 percent from 2009."

Actual deportations under Obama are on track to drop more than 10 percent to their lowest level in a decade, making it all the less likely that we'll get anywhere near Schultz's "fivefold" claim.

Then there is Schultz's equally dubious boast of a "fourfold" increase in spending on border enforcement. Even if it can be conceded that such spending is higher than ever, it is nowhere near four times as much, Schultz's blithely shabby assertion to the contrary.

All of which goes to show that when a liberal like Schultz has the chance to make legitimate claims about deportations and border spending under Obama -- neither of which can be said to have plunged -- he instead chooses deceit. All while touting his devotion to "truth" and "common sense."

"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons" -- Emerson

Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts