Despite Record-High Deportation Numbers, Kristol Says Obama Is ‘Reluctant’ To Enforce Immigration Laws

Today, on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, conservative pundit Bill Kristol slammed the Obama administration for denouncing Arizona’s immigration law. Specifically, Kristol insisted that his own Latino friends have no problem with the Arizona law and that Obama’s criticism is out of line. According to Kristol, the fact that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) head John Morton has indicated that his agency may not help Arizona enforce its likely unconstitutional law demonstrates the Obama administration’s overall “reluctance” to enforce the immigration laws that are already place:

I’ve spoken to a lot of African American people, a lot of Hispanic people about this. They don’t object to the notion that we need to be tougher in our enforcement of immigration law. […]

The Obama administration is full of people who are at best reluctant to actually enforce the laws on the book — using the excuse that we can’t enforce anything until we have comprehensive immigration reform.

Quite the contrary, Obama certainly hasn’t been opposed to letting federal immigration agents do their jobs. In April 2009, Obama indicated that the government has to prove it’s “competent in getting results around immigration” in terms of enforcing the laws that are already in place, before the American people can have “confidence that if we actually put a [immigration reform] package together we can execute.” Under the Obama administration’s leadership, Morton has been deporting more undocumented immigrants than the Bush administration. Each year, under President Bush, the number of deportations more than tripled. Much to the dismay of immigration advocates who thought that Morton was only going to go after the “worst of the worst,” the Obama administration has maintained this upward trend. During fiscal year 2009, 100,000 more immigrants were deported than during the last full fiscal year of the Bush presidency:


And while Kristol’s Latino friends might not have a problem with Arizona’s immigration law, 67 percent of the nation’s Latino voters do.